Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

What is sexual battery defined as in Florida?

If you're accused of sexual battery, you need to understand what that means by Florida law. In Florida, sexual battery specifically refers to rape. In fact, no statutes actually define rape separately.

It's difficult to prove rape in many cases, because the prosecution must prove that it occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the prosecution needs to show that you engaged in oral, anal or vaginal penetration with the victim either with a sexual organ or with a physical object. Additionally, the prosecution may show that your sexual organs came into contact with the alleged victim's anus, vagina or mouth.

You have a right to defend yourself against accusations of sexual battery. One solid defense is if the alleged victim agreed to participate in a sexual act. In Florida, those under the age of 12 do not have a right to consent, which means the prosecution does not need to show that the child did not consent. It's presumed by the court. For those over the age of 12, the prosecution needs to prove that the person did not consent but doesn't need to show that there was a protest or resistance against sexual acts.

One thing that Florida law prohibits is the use of a person's sexual history as a defense. For example, it would not be lawful to state that the alleged victim was unchaste as a defense. Additionally, if the alleged victim lied about his or her age, this is another thing that Florida law does not allow to be used as a defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Sexual Battery Laws," accessed April 21, 2017

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