When People Act Together Committing A Crime In Florida, All Are Held Accountable Points Out Lakeland Criminal Defense Attorney
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 13 , 2014 – In this case a young teen was beaten and raped at a friend’s house, while the incident was captured on another teen’s cellphone.
Three teens, two females and one male, have each been charged with two counts of sexual battery with the use of force and two counts of kidnapping. “The youngest juvenile charged is 15-years-old and the oldest is 19. The three younger teens, if convicted, face juvenile detention and most likely reasonable bail, as they cannot be given life sentences and Florida abolished parole,” explained Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney. The two older teens involved in this alleged crime are considered to be adults and, if convicted, may face life in prison for their role in this case.
As a group, the five teens are charged with perpetrating a vicious attack on a 16-year-old teen, supposedly one of their friends. The victim told investigators she had been invited to a male friend’s home where the group watched TV and listened to music. One of her friends suddenly demanded she have intercourse with the male teen that lived in the house they were visiting. She was allegedly told that if she did not comply with the direct order, that she would be beaten. She refused to have sex with the man and the others in the room started beating her, dragging her around by her hair, and kicking and punching her.
“According to the victim’s statement, the other teens pushed her down a small flight of stairs located in the backyard, where her head came into contact with a concrete floor. She was then taken back into the home, stripped and held immobile while the male had protected intercourse with her,” Grajek said.
Eventually, the 16-year-old teen was allowed to leave and made her way to her grandmother’s home, where she reported the attack. She was taken to hospital, semi-conscious, where she was treated for a badly swollen face and bleeding from her left ear. The suspects were tracked down based on her report and descriptions, but none of them knew the exact address of the place they had been to. However, they did direct police to the home, where a search warrant was executed. During the search, two cellphones with taped footage of the rape were seized, along with other evidence.
Four of the five participants in this crime did not have sex with the victim. However, according to Florida law, when individuals act as one, or together to commit a crime, each person is, by law, accountable for their actions and thus the four were charged with sexual battery.
“Even though the police may have sufficient evidence to prove a case in court, because of the age of the participants, there are several defenses that may mitigate their possible sentences. It may also be possible to have some of the evidence thrown out if it was not collected in the proper manner. Anyone charged with a sex crime in Florida, either acting alone or in concert with others, should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Everyone, no matter what they have done or have been accused of doing, is entitled to a vigorous and well thought out defense,” Grajek stated.