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Sex Crimes, Sexual Assault and Other Charges

sex-crimes-2_180x120A Lake Park man was arrested Saturday on charges he broke into a Riviera Beach home earlier in the week and sexually assaulted a woman.

Police received reports that Clayton Phillips, 33, broke into the home Wednesday evening and attacked the woman, Riviera Beach police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said Sunday. U.S. marshals found him at another address Saturday and turned him over to detectives, she said.

He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Saturday on multiple counts of sexual assault, home invasion with a weapon, kidnapping/false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a weapon and several other charges, according to the sheriff’s website. Source

Sexual violence is any type of sex act performed or attempted without the victim’s consent. This can include intercourse or attempted intercourse, physical touching, or non-contact methods such as flashing, verbal harassment, or sexual threats. Sexual violence is a widespread problem across the globe, and is a crime overwhelmingly committed against women.

The key to a sexual act being considered violence is the consent of the victim. In most cases, sexual acts with minors are considered non-consenting acts, as the law does not grant minors the right of legal consent.

A sex crime is one that knowingly causes – by force or by threat – another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act. Both the federal government and the states prosecute crimes involving sexual behavior. Sex crimes that involve crossing a state line are more likely to be prosecuted at the federal level. Federal penalties tend to be more severe than sentences handed down under state law.

Sex Crimes Do Not Always Involve Force

Some sex crimes such as rape involve force or the threat of force. Other sexual offenses, such as child molestation and statutory rape, are illegal even if no force is involved because the victims are not legally able to consent. Disability can also prevent a victim from consenting to sexual activity.

Some sex crimes are illegal even when performed by consenting adults – prostitution and incest are two examples. Certain sex crimes, such as possession of child pornography, do not even involve direct sexual contact with the victim.

Sexting: Crime or Youthful Indiscretion?

“Sexting” is a relatively new type of sex crime that involves minors sending sexually explicit photos of themselves and others by cell phone. Because the law has been slow to catch up with this emerging technology, sexting crimes are often prosecuted as felonies under child pornography laws.

Critics of this practice say that child pornography laws are meant to control sexual predators, and charging minors with a felony for sending sexually explicit photos of themselves to one another is harsh. Many states are now considering new laws that would establish much lighter penalties for sexting.

Sex Offender Registration

Sex offender registration is a system in the United States of America and certain other developed countries designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of ex-sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. In some jurisdictions (especially in the United States), information in the registry is made available to the general public via a website or other means.

In many jurisdictions registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including housing. Those on parole or probation may be subject to restrictions that don’t apply to other parolees or probationers. Sometimes these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of minors, living in proximity to a school or day care center, owning toys or other items of interest to minors, or using the Internet.

Florida law requires sexual offenders and sexual predators to register their address with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the local sheriff’s office.

If you have suspicions about someone or are moving to a new area, the Department of Law Enforcement provides a service to identify sexual predators and offenders. The form allows you to search for sexual predators or offenders by specifying a county, city, and ZIP code.

Sex Crime Penalties Can Be Severe

Penalties for sex crimes include fines and imprisonment. Some sexual offenses are misdemeanors but most are felonies. If you commit a sex crime, you could be sentenced to prison for years, decades, or a lifetime. Federal statutes and some state laws impose mandatory minimum sentences that judges must follow except in limited circumstances.

Some states, such as California, impose a penalty of chemical castration on repeat offenders who commit certain types of sex crimes. Chemical castration drastically lowers the sex drive of male offenders and is thought to reduce the chances that the offender will commit another sex crime. Source

West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation and your job may be at stake. Be certain of your attorney’s competence, reputation, expertise and experience as a Criminal Defense Lawyer.

The criminal defense law firm of Andrew Stine, P.A. combines the nationally recognized criminal defense practice of trial and appellate attorney Andrew Stine, creating an international practice encompassing the defense of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges in Florida, across the United States and around the world. When you retain our law firm, you don’t simply retain a criminal defense attorney – you retain an experienced criminal defense law team. Andrew Stine and his team have worked together for years, successfully representing clients in virtually every type of criminal case. We represent individuals and organizations vigorously, with individual attention and a passionate respect for due process, through each stage and every aspect of your case.

The firm is committed to providing the highest level of effectiveness to all clients and therefore has employed Eric Centeno, Mr. Stine’s paralegal, who is fluent in Spanish. Additionally, Mr. Stine has a fully time investigator, Dan Delois, who has helped achieve spectacular results over the past 25 years. This team has meet and interviewed countless defendants in Federal, State and County jails throughout the State of Florida and the United States. They have interviewed clients in medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile facilities, and at numerous crime scenes. The team has even been present on many occasions, when summoned by clients who were in the process of having search warrants served on their homes, barns, out buildings and even their grow houses. This team is committed because if we all act Together we Each Achieve More (team). Call us and put this team to work for you or your loved one.

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