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Public Sex

Criminal Charges for Public Sex

Two consenting adults who engage in sexual activity are not breaking the law. The State of Florida has a lenient policy on nudity in specified areas, such as nude beaches. However, as soon as sexual acts become public, those engaged in the sexual acts may be charged with a criminal offense.

The criminal penalties for public sex can vary depending on the specific details surrounding the case. This can include where the sexual activity took place and if there were any minors present who witnessed the act. This page will explain public sex and the possible criminal charges a person can face in public for engaging in public sex.

What is Public Sex?

Public sex is considered when two or more people engage in sexual activity in a public space, or from a private place where they are exposing or exhibiting the act in a way that can be viewed from a public place. Such private places include a person’s backyard, balcony, or bedroom with the curtains open. Public sex can also include sex in semi-public places such as shopping malls.

Some of the most common places for public sex include the following:

  • In a car
  • Beach
  • Forest
  • Movie theater
  • Bus
  • Airplane
  • Cubicle
  • Office
  • Park
  • Restroom

What Type of Offenses Can a Person Face for Public Sex?

When a couple is caught engaging in sexual activities in public, there are multiple criminal charges they may face. Law enforcement may charge the offenders with exposing sexual organs or lewd and lascivious exhibition, depending on the surrounding details of the case. The following explains the two different charges in Florida:

  • Exposure of Sexual OrgansFlorida Statute Section 800.03 defines the crime of unlawful exposure of sexual organs as when a person:
    • Exposes his or her sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or where they can be seen from such private premises in a vulgar or indecent manner; or
    • Being naked in public in a vulgar or indecent manner.

The crime of exposing one’s sexual organs is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. For a second or subsequent offense, the defendant can then face a third-degree felony.

The crime of lewd and lascivious exhibition is classified as a third-degree felony if the offender is a minor under the age of 18. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

If the offender is 18 or older, then the offense is considered a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony in Florida include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

Example Cases

The following list has several example cases of individuals who were arrested for engaging in public sex:

  • June 2014 – Peggy Klemm, 68, and David Bobilya, 49, were arrested after engaging in public sex at a public pavilion in The Villages, Florida. According to the report, the two were seen having sex against the back of the Bait Shack hut on June 12th, 2014. Klemm was on probation for a previous reckless driving charge, and ended up taking a plea deal for the public sex incident. Klemm and Bobilya were both sentenced to six months in jail.
  • July 2021 – Daniel McCleary, 60, and Donald Engstrom, 59, were both arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida after they were spotted having sex in public. According to the report, a St. Pete police officer witnessed the two engaging in “sexual acts while completely naked and in public view.” When questioned by law enforcement, both men admitted to engaging in public sex. According to the arrest affidavit, both men faced charges of exposure of sexual organs.
  • October 2022 – Robert Kates, 54, and Brian Brooke, 61, were arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition for engaging in sex acts in Wilton Manors. According to the report, the two men were in Hagen Park—considered a busy park with ongoing sports such as pickleball and tennis. “Upon arrival we came across a witness to this who pointed us in the direction of two individuals,” said Wilton Manors Police Chief Gary Blocker of the incident. “We encountered two individuals involved in a sexual act.” Since one of the witnesses was under the age of 18, the two men were charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition.

Registering as a Sex Offender

Under Florida Statute Section 943.0435, in order to be placed on the sex offender registry list, an individual must be convicted of a “qualifying offense.” Some of the offenses that will make someone have to register as a sex offender in Florida include:

If a person is convicted for one of the above offenses in Florida or another jurisdiction, then they are required to register with the state. To learn more about registering for a sex offense, follow our link here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of a sex crime is very serious. In addition to the legal penalties such as paying fines or facing imprisonment, a person convicted of a sex crime may face additional penalties. This can include dealing with the stigma of being a convicted sex offender. It may become difficult to find a job, a place to live, or maintain a healthy relationship with friends or family. Due to the harsh consequences, you should seek out a defense attorney as soon as possible if you are facing sex crime charges.

At Pumphrey Law Firm, our attorneys will make your case our top priority. We vow to provide legal guidance throughout the entire process. Don Pumphrey and his attorneys will review your case details, build a strong defense, and ensure all your rights are protected. If you want a fighting sex crime defense attorney on your side, contact Pumphrey Law Firm today. Call us at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website for a free consultation.

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