Nearly a decade's worth of untested rape kits were languishing in police storage until a recent move was made to begin processing those results. Now, information gleaned from the backlog of rape cases in the area has led to several arrests for sex crimes in the Hollywood, Florida, area. Hollywood police are currently facing significant controversy in the matter, as they are being accused of ignoring justice for sex crimes victims while allowing alleged offenders to remain free.
A 48-year-old Florida man has entered a guilty plea in connection with allegations that he produced, distributed and possessed child pornography. The man, who had been arrested in January, initially told officers that his name was "Cliff Shaw;" however, authorities determined that that name had belonged to the man's deceased brother. Until July 24, the man's legal name remained a mystery. He finally confirmed his identity at a hearing related to the sex crimes case.
Football players might like to be in the news, but not for sexual assault. Two 20-year-old linebackers for the Miami hurricanes are accused of sexual battery. A 17-year-old girl reported sexual assault to the university police. She named the two football players as her assaulters, accusing them of getting her drunk on July 5, and then repeatedly raping her. The university police turned the incident over to the Coral Gables department for investigation.
A Florida teenager who went missing in mid-June was recovered after a sharp-eyed truck stop cashier in Louisiana noticed the girl traveling with an older man. The 16-year-old girl was reportedly traveling with a 41-year-old man who had previously been convicted of sex offenses. The man was a convicted sex offender who knew the girl because of his own children. Investigators say that the man and the teen had recently exchanged thousands of text messages.
A 29-year-old Florida man is in custody after being arrested on June 12 on disturbing allegations of attempted homicide and child pornography. The man was accused of the sex crimes after he attempted to lure a couple and their 9-year-old girl into a vacant house. He told officers that he intended to kill the parents and then videotape himself performing sex acts with the child before killing her as well. He is officially charged with attempted sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography and premeditated attempted homicide, according to authorities.
Sexual misconduct in Florida hits the news on a pretty regular basis. From date-rape drugs, sexual assault, child molestation and prostitution, sex crimes carry heavy consequences. In addition to the legal ramifications, there is the stigma that is attached to people when they are accused of a sex crime. Their life and livelihood can be highly affected even if they are innocent of the crime.
Nine men have been arrested in connection with a child pornography investigation in Polk County, Florida. A church worker, registered nurse and a military servicemember are reportedly included among those accused of the sex crimes. Two men are also facing allegations of sexually molesting two children.
A Florida firefighter is accused of sharing explicit images of underage girls through one of the most public social media platforms. The man, age 38, allegedly posted the photographs to the online service Twitter. Authorities arrested the defendant on April 17 after he allegedly distributed 16 images of young girls engaging in sexual intercourse. The man is officially charged with sex offenses including promoting the sexual performance of a minor. This is the first Twitter-related underage pornography investigation in the Miami-Dade area.
The governor of Florida has approved legal measures designed to close loopholes in state law pertaining to sex offenders. The bills may have a wide-reaching impact, as mandatory sentencing guidelines will now apply to certain types of sex crimes. For example, those who are convicted of raping a child under 12, a senior citizen or someone with a developmental disability will now face a mandatory 50-year term behind bars. The statute of limitations on certain types of child molestation has also been lifted.
A new series of laws passed by Florida legislators will have a resounding impact on criminal defendants facing sex crimes allegations. The package of bills will require convicted child rapists to serve longer terms in jail. The new legislation also forces those convicted of sex crimes to provide more information, including a list of all the vehicles registered in their names. Finally, a law that permits civil commitment for those convicted of sex crimes has been shored up by additional provisions. Although the laws have been passed in the statehouse, the governor has yet to approve the measures.