Missing Teen Found – Results in Sexual Battery Charges
February 9, 2023 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Sex Crimes Social Share
Sexual battery allegations can lead to harsh punishment if convicted. When the case involves a minor, the penalties can be even more severe. In one recent Florida case, a young girl went missing for several hours, and once found reported to police that she had been the victim of multiple instances of rape.
This article will provide details from the case, along with information on sexual battery charges in Florida.
What was the Case?
Police responded to a missing person’s case in Kissimmee after a 12-year-old girl had been gone for several hours. According to the report, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office found the minor only a few hours after she was reported missing. While she stated she was unharmed during the time she was gone, she admitted to being the victim of sexual battery.
The girl informed police that she had been raped multiple times by Eliezer Ordonez Valladares, 20. According to the victim, the two met at a block party in their neighborhood. The girl was only 11 years-old at the time when the sexual battery incidents began.
“That’s a 20-year-old having sex with an 11-year-old girl. That’s pretty sick,” said Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez.
When Valladares was questioned by the police, he confessed to the sexual battery accusations. Both the defendant and the victim are undocumented. For Valladares, it means he must wait for an immigration hearing. He is currently facing four charges of capital sexual battery against a minor younger than 12, one count of sexual battery, and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct.
Although the victim and her family are undocumented as well, they may be eligible for a U-visa. This is offered as a way to protect immigrants who have been subjected as victims of specific crimes on U.S. soil. This includes the criminal offense of sexual battery, sexual assault, and other sex crimes.
“No one in this country deserves to be a victim of a crime,” Lopez said. “This is a brave little girl. I applaud her for her courage and for her telling the truth about what she has been going through.”
Sexual Battery in Florida
A person accused of rape in Florida can be charged with a sexual battery crime. Under Florida Statute Section 794.011, sexual battery is considered when a person commits the vaginal, anal, or oral penetration of another person. This can be caused by the penetration or union with the sexual organ, or from another object.
Sexual battery is a very serious offense in Florida. Depending on the specific details of the case, a person accused of sexual battery can be charged with a second-degree felony up to a capital felony. The deciding factors for the specific charge and possible sentencing are based on the age of the accused person, the age of the victim, the mental state of the victim, and whether the committed offense resulted in serious injury to the victim.
A standard second-degree sexual battery charge has the possible penalties of up to a $10,000 fine, and up to 15 years in prison.
Enhanced Penalties for Sexual Battery
Reasons for enhanced charges and penalties surrounding a sexual battery case are based on the factors of age, possible injuries, and the mental state of the victim. Under Florida law, a person who is over the age of 18 and commits sexual battery on a person 12 or older can result in a first-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.
If the defendant is over the age of 18 and the defendant is younger than 12 years old, the resulting charge is a capital felony. A capital felony is the harshest penalty the State of Florida has. A conviction of a capital felony can lead to either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
Based on the example case above, the defendant was charged with one regular sexual battery offense and four counts of capital sexual battery. That implies he was charged for each individual rape incident—and the four capital offenses were for when the victim was younger than the age of 12.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Leon County, Florida
Getting accused of a sex crime has some of the harshest penalties in the state of Florida. This is especially true when the victim is a minor. Criminal offenses involving children typically result in the State seeking the most severe penalties if convicted. That’s why it’s especially important to work with a skilled Tallahassee criminal defense attorney if you or someone you know has been accused of a sex crime.
Although the nature of the alleged offense may feel like a losing battle, there are still defenses applicable to such criminal cases. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you seek out legal advice from an attorney. The experienced defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm will work with you to build a strong defense for your case. Contact Don Pumphrey and his team of attorneys at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation regarding your case.
Written by Karissa Key