Chorus Director, Camp Counselor Charged With Lewd Battery States Thomas Grajek, Lakeland Criminal Defense Lawyer
PUBLISHED BY: LFN Primary
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 4 , 2013 – The accused in this case allegedly masqueraded as a woman online to arrange for intimate relations with a 15-year-old boy.
“This case is not quite as unusual as it may sound,” commented Lakeland criminal defense lawyer, Thomas Grajek “More and more these days numerous individuals are using the Internet to make connections for legal and illegal activities. In this case, a 25-year-old man was charged with three counts of lascivious battery, also referred to as lewd battery, for luring a 15-year-old boy into having a sexual liaison.”
The man charged, Joseph Mendolia, allegedly represented himself online as a female, using the name Amanda. The University of South Florida music camp counsellor and chorus director for the Plant City Community Chorus also allegedly travelled to the boy’s location and had sexual relations with him.
After the man’s arrest, and during his interrogation, officers felt there may be other victims. Acting on that assumption, they put out a call to the general public asking for any other individuals who had contact with Mendolia to call them. The man was held on $60,000 bail in the local county lockup.
“In situations such as this reported case, the public’s perception of a crime of this nature is outrage and the alleged offender needs to retain experienced defense counsel,” Grajek pointed out. Many crimes like this have mandatory 25-year minimum prison sentences and sex crimes operate under different rules of evidence, which means they are more difficult to defend, not impossible, just more difficult.
“If you think you are the subject of a sexual allegation or have been charged with a sex crime, call me immediately. You have 5th Amendment rights and those constitutional rights must be fully protected. In the meantime, only speak to your legal counsel and no one else, or what you say will be used against you later,” added Grajek.