Category: Justice
Sexual Predator Prosecution

People are more concerned about the problem of sex predators than about any other offense to the general population. Moreover, when minors are victims, it creates great feelings in the public evoking reactions from elected leaders. Such offenders are considered an objectionable kind of criminals, who are untreatable and most likely to recidivate. Perpetrators can be even relatives. Thus, there is a need to conduct a critical mental assessment of members of society who portray traits that may suggest their likelihood to engage in violent sexual acts. This essay seeks to discuss the state of Florida’s approach to sexual predators pointing out laws that prohibit predatory conduct, crime classification and punishment, and analyzing varying sentence severity.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (2007), particular attention has been given to sexual predators, and since it is evident that these kinds of persons will always perpetrate their acts, the state statute has prohibited their acts. Pursuant to Section 775.21(4)(a), (c), and (5) of FDLE Legal Bulletin by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (2007), it is forbidden in case of kidnapping minors, particularly when the defendant does not happen to be the guardian or the parent. The use of indecent language and vulgar acts that are sexual in nature in the presence of a minor are prohibited. A sexual battery, which involves the touching of other person, especially child’s genitals or any other sexually sensitive organs without consent, is strictly forbidden. In addition, any acts that involve buying and selling children for the purpose of visual depiction involving sexual one is considered a crime and prohibited. Luring an underage into a sexual act or prostitution is punished.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (2007) has subdivided sexual predator crimes into three types. The first part is termed “one is enough”. This phrase refers to the case when an individual commits or contemplates to execute one incidence specified as a capital felony, such as a sexual battery and kidnapping in the state of Florida or within any other jurisdiction. Punishment applied to this category of crime is incarceration (Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2007). Another type is “second strike,” where the offender commits or attempts to perpetrate a felony. Examples are involving an underage in prostitution, sexual misconduct or luring a child, whereby the criminal has been previously found guilty and convicted of one or more crimes specified in the “one is enough” category. Punishment administered for this offense is incarceration under supervision. The last group is “civil commitment,” where the perpetrator has been confirmed to be a violent sexual predator, and the individual is under civil commitment under Chapter 394 (Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2007). The one is restricted and obliged to register and be subject to public notification.

A mandatory punishment is severe and is meant to exclude an offender from the public domain for a relatively longer period based on the law in such a manner that judge discretion does not show any leniency to the offense committed. For instance, the molestation of a child under 12 years by a person being over 18 years old is a violation of Section 800.04(5)(b) of the Florida state laws (Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2007). This act constitutes a capital offense, and  a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years behind bars is administered, after which life community control or probation follows. One may also face life incarceration. A subsequent similar crime results in a life in jail as a mandatory minimum penalty. Under Sections 775.21(6)(a)-(b), 944.607(4)-(6), 985.481(3)(a), one may also face a non-incarceration sanction, but under supervision of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (2007). Another kind of punishment is when one is put on probation and under controlled restrictions.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (2007), the solicitation of improper conduct is prohibited and ought not to be only through physical contact. For instance, an adult aged 18 years and over luring or enticing a minor into a structure with the intention of sexual abuse is considered to have committed an offense. The crime committed is classified as the first-degree illegal act punished as outlined in Sections 775.082 or 775.083 of the statute. According to Adelson (2008), the Florida state considers the enticement of children into prostitution as the first-degree felony that is severely punishable as compared to adults.

Sentencing ranges from five years to life incarceration, after which one can be restrained for life in a community-controlled facility. The worst case is where the perpetrator is under civil commitment, whereby his life is restricted and monitored to ensure the public is safe (Bjerk, 2006). Under Section 775.21(6)(b), those in custody are closely monitored and prevented from escaping since they are considered mentally stable. In case of a crime where a minor was not involved under Section 775.21(6)(e), the sexual predator is not imprisoned but instead put on probation under supervision, and his/her behavior is monitored where the one must comply with a mandatory curfew from ten p.m. to six a.m. According Chapter 394, Part V of Florida statutes, if the offender is found to suffer from a mental disorder, one is put under short-term treatment and then reintegrated back to the community (Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2007). In my opinion, the statutes have been effective in dealing with sexual predators since those concerned are apprehended and punished in a manner that they will not become a threat to society.

In conclusion, the Florida state has been in the forefront in ensuring safety among the youth population by enacting laws that do not condone sexual predators. Minors are under protection from any act or soliciting that portrays sexual indecency. Once an offender has been caught, the one is categorized and sentenced by the statutes. The severity of a penalty is dependent on the level of crime and the threat it may pose to the population. Those considered dangerous are incarcerated for life to enhance the security of minors ensuring that parents and guardians can take their kids to school knowing they will be safe.

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