3 Types of Sex Crimes You May Not Have Heard Of

Most of us are familiar with the more common sex crime charges, such as rape and prostitution; however, the State of Florida considers several other acts a sex crime.

Criminal defense attorneys in Clearwater, FL at Russo, Pelletier, & Sullivan, P.A, have put together the resources below to help inform you of your rights and what lesser-known sex crimes are. The following three sex crimes carry the same devastating punishments and can impact you throughout your life.

1) Statutory Rape and Sexting with Minors

Statutory rape means sex with a minor. If you are over 24 years old and have a sexual relationship with someone younger than 17, you may be charged with statutory rape, regardless of if the relationship was consensual. 

If you are 18-23, you may not be subject to charges; however, it is still not advisable to engage in a sexual relationship with someone under 18 as, under the law, anyone who is a minor cannot give consent. Therefore, any sexual encounters with a minor are treated as non-consensual.

Furthermore, if you engage in sexting (where explicit photos are sent and received), you may face child pornography charges or a charge known as “Transmission of Material Harmful to Minor.”. These are rather serious charges that can result from engagin in the sending (transmission) or receiving (possession of child pornography) of explicit sexual images from a minor.

2) Indecent Exposure

While this may seem self-explanatory, indecent exposure pertains to revealing one’s sexual organs with a lewd or lascivious intent. This usually occurs in a public place, where the person knows someone will be able to see them. 

To be charged with indecent exposure, intent must be proven. If you are arrested, Florida classifies this as a Class 1 misdemeanor and may be punished with jail time, probation, and fines.

Note that while public urination and beach nudity are not usually considered indecent exposure, there are circumstances in which they could be tried as such, and therefore should be avoided. 

3) Sexual Cyberharassment

Sharing explicit photos with the intent to cause emotional distress constitutes non-consensual porn. In Florida, this means publishing sexually explicit content to the internet with personal identifying information attached to the post. 

Like indecent exposure, the intent is crucial in being charged with this sex crime. A conviction will not be found without proving the goal was to harm the victim intentionally. This relatively new law, passed in 2019, represents an effort on the part of the Florida Legislature to criminalize so-called “revenge porn.” While a first offense is a misdemeanor, a second offense is categorized as a third degree felony. In addition to criminal penalties, the law also allows for the victim to file a separate civil suit for damages as well.

If you find yourself charged with any sex crime in Pinellas County, contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, sex crime defense attorneys in Clearwater today for a free consultation.  

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.