Former Teacher Found Guilty of Seeking to Meet a Minor for Sex

August 18, 2022 Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

Dateline NBC’s hit series “To Catch a Predator” often comes to mind when thinking of solicitation of a minor. The TV series revolves around police officers going undercover as underage teenagers to lure individuals into making a sexual solicitation.

Soliciting sexual acts with a minor is an extremely serious charge in Florida. A guilty verdict of solicitation of sex can result in serious consequences that can include expensive fines, imprisonment, registering as a sexual predator, and the social stigma that comes with attempting to have sexual relations with a minor.

A recent case shows how a former Oviedo High School teacher went online to seek out sex from a minor; who was actually an undercover police officer. We will cover the details of the case, as well as discuss the criminal charge for solicitation of a minor in Florida.

What Was the Incident?

Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrested Dennis Lee Line, 51, and charged him with one count of attempting to coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Line was a former teacher at Oviedo High School and also worked for Universal Studios Orlando.

Line had made arrangements to meet up with a 15-year-old girl at a restaurant in Orlando. The arrest affidavit states that Line used a fake name of Stephen online to exchange messages with what he assumed was a teenage girl. However, it was really a detective posing as a 15-year-old girl.

The undercover detective conveyed in the messages that the person Line thought he was talking to was only 15. Line responded that it was “absolutely okay” with the age difference, claiming he was unhappy in his marriage.

Line was a teacher at Oviedo High School from July 2001 to May 2018. He is set to be sentenced this November.

Meeting a Minor for Sex in Florida

Under Florida Statute Section 847.0135(3)(a), it is against the law to use a computer, smartphone, or any similar device to attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child for an unlawful sexual act.

Solicitation of a child is a third-degree felony in Florida, and a conviction can result in up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. If the prosecution can prove that you misrepresented your own age during the solicitation of a minor, the charge is raised to a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree solicitation of a child charge are up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

In addition, you would also be required to register as a sex offender. This means that any of your work colleagues, neighbors, or friends will be able to view you on the State’s Sex Offender Registry. This can have an impact on where you live, where you work, and how your peers view you.

To read more about solicitation of a child and the potential defenses to the charge, find our informative page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one has been accused of soliciting a minor, you should immediately seek out the legal advice from an experienced defense attorney. A conviction of any type of sex crime with a minor can result in extremely harsh consequences. While it may seem like there is no hope, there are still potential defenses you can use for your case. Work with Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm to build a strong defense to your case. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation today.

Written by Karissa Key

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