Lewd or Lascivious Molestation - Florida Statute 800.04(5)

sex offenses

This statute prohibits the intentional touching of the breasts, genitals, crotch, butt, or the clothing over those locations of a person younger than 16 or the forcing or enticing of a person younger than 16 to touch the perpetrator.

This statute can be used to prosecute individuals who try and catch a “feel” of others as they walk by. We have all seen scenes in movies where a girl will claim to be felt and her boyfriend or husband gets into a fight. Sometimes the girl is telling the truth and other times she might not be telling the truth.

Individuals might have reasons for falsely claiming this crime such as:

  • An ex-lover wants to get revenge;
  • An ex-spouse wants custody of the kids;
  • A parent wants to use the threat of the false charge against the boyfriend to manipulate their child; or
  • Jealousy.

What the State Prosecutor Has to Prove to Convict the Defendant of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation

The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The victim either:
    1. Was 12 or older but younger than 16; or
    2. The victim was younger than 12; and
  2. The defendant either:
    1. In a lewd or lascivious manner, intentionally touched the breasts, genitals, crotch, butt, or clothing covering those areas of the victim; or
    2. In a lewd or lascivious manner, intentionally forced or enticed the victim to touch the breasts, genitals, crotch, butt, or clothing covering those areas on the defendant; and
  3. The defendant was either:
    1. 18 or older at the time of the offense; or
    2. Younger than 18 at the age at the time of the offense.

The words “lewd” and “lascivious” mean the same thing as wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act.

Defenses

Florida Statute 800.04 prohibits the using of the defenses of the victim’s chastity, the victim’s consent, or the lack of knowledge about the victim’s age. There are other defenses that can be raised such as the victim falsely claimed the crime because of motives or the “perpetrator” lacked the necessary intent to commit the crime.

Punishment

The punishment depends on the ages of the parties.

The Victim Is Younger than 12, and the Perpetrator Is 18 or Older

This crime is ranked as level 9 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. It is a life felony which can be punished up to life in prison.

The Victim Is Younger than 12, and the Perpetrator Is Younger than 18

This crime is ranked level 7 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. It is a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Victim Is Older than 12, but Younger than 16, and the Perpetrator Is 18 years or Older

This crime is ranked level 7 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. It is a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Victim Is Older than 12, but Younger than 16, and the Perpetrator Is Younger than 18

This crime is ranked level 6 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. It is a third-degree felony which is punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Other Consequences

Anyone who is convicted of this statute will be required to register as a sexual predator. Traveling will be more difficult because there are registration laws around the United States.

Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

This is a serious crime which carries serious consequences. It is important that you contact an attorney to help with your case. If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, call our law offices to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys need to talk to you to find out your version of the events. It is important for you to tell us everything about what happened because from the information you give us, we will create a defense strategy to your case. Call today so we can get to work helping you.

publically masturbate. All of these actions can be prosecuted under this statute. One man was even prosecuted under this statute for wearing shorts way too short inside a store and his “stuff” became exposed. See Ross v. State.

Actions that can violate this statute:

  • Flashing
  • Peeing in Public
  • Mooning
  • Nude Sunbathing
  • Streaking
  • Public Masturbating
  • Skinny Dipping
  • Way Too Short Shorts
  • Nudists Activities Too Close to Others
What the State Prosecutor Has to Prove to Convict You of Committing Exposure of Sexual Organs

The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. You either:

  1. Uncovered or showed off your sexual organs; or
  2. You were naked;

2. You did this:

  1. In a public place;
  2. On the private property of another;
  3. So near the private property that someone can see you;

3. You intended the uncovering or showing of your sexual organs or nakedness to be in a vulgar, indecent, lewd, or lascivious manner; and

4. The uncovering or showing of the sexual organs or nakedness was in a vulgar, indecent, lewd, or lascivious manner.

“Vulgar,” “indecent,” “lewd,” and “lascivious” mean the same thing. They mean a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act.

Acts are not vulgar, indecent, lewd, or lascivious unless such acts cause offense to one or more persons viewing those acts or unless the acts substantially intrude upon the rights of others.

You might be wondering why any of the above listed actions would be a violation of this statute if they were not doing anything with lewd intentions. The police are not going to be trying to figure out your intentions but are going to likely arrest you and have your attorney figure out your intentions.

A “public place” is any place intended or designed to be frequented or resorted to by the public.

Hopefully, no one under 16 was around when this crime was committed because Florida Statute 800.04(7) makes this crime a second-degree felony if the defendant was over 18 or a third-degree felony if the defendant was under 18. A conviction under 800.04(7) will require the defendant to register as a sexual offender, unless Florida’s Romeo and Juliet Law applies.

Punishment

This crime is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Thankfully this crime does not require the defendant to register as a sex offender.

Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, call our law offices today. There are many facts surrounding your case. It is important that you meet with us and tell us your side of the story with all the facts. This information will be critical to putting together a defense strategy for your case. Our attorneys will find out what evidence the prosecutor has against you. We will then inform you of your options on how to proceed with the case. The goal on any sex crime is to change or eliminate the charge. Each case is fact specific and we will find the best defense available based on your facts.

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