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Date Rape and Sexual Battery

Elsea Law Criminal Defense Sex Crimes Date Rape and Sexual Battery

Engaging in non-consensual sexual encounters is considered a crime in the state of Florida. Date rape takes its name from the deplorable trend of committing sexual battery while on a date. Date rape typically involves the alleged offender slyly inserting an incapacitating drug into someone’s drink. Date rape drugs are a common tool in making a victim lose consciousness. These drugs make a victim unable to deny the offender mentally or physically, which then leads to sexual encounters through force and unwanted sexual contact. In the most tragic of instances, it can lead to the death of the victim if the ingested quantity is too large.

Date rape charges most commonly occur among high school and college students, where partying and excessive drinking create possibly dangerous situations. Date rape can occur sporadically and without warning, or it can be the result of rejection to the offender’s advances.

To understand the extent of date rape and other sexual assault charges, defining “consent” is vital.

Sex Crime Lawyer for Date Rape in Tampa, FL

If you or someone you know in Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County, or the greater Tampa Bay area has been charged with is under investigation for date rape, contact Tampa criminal defense attorney Joel Elsea at Elsea Law Firm, P.A.

Being accused or investigated for date rape is very serious and can provide for lifelong consequences, like a felony conviction, loss of opportunities, fines, loss of privacy, and serious damage to a person’s reputation in his or her community.

Joel Elsea at Elsea Law has experience in litigating throughout Hillsborough County courtrooms; from understanding the proper arguments to procedure, Joel Elsea has the expertise to help.

Call (813)-451-8583 to schedule a one-on-one consultation today and receive the necessary help to handle a date rape case.

Learn More About Date Rape in Florida

  • Everything You Need to Know About Date Rape on Campuses
  • Defining Date Rape
  • What Are the Consequences for Date Rape?
  • How Does Florida Define “Consent”?
  • Helpful Resources on Date Rape

College Campuses and Date Rape

Sexual violence is more prevalent than any other crime on college campuses. This fact becomes important as young students enter college at the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, University of Florida, and other statewide colleges.

According to U.S. News World Report, approximately 15% of freshmen women in college are raped while incapacitated from alcohol or drugs. Among all undergraduates, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault.

Date Rape – What is it?

Date rape is a form of sexual battery. Sexual battery refers to “anal, oral, or vaginal penetration by, or in union with the sexual organ or the anal or vaginal penetration by any other object.” The sexual battery definition does not include acts done for a bona fide medical purpose.

To prove sexual battery has been committed, the prosecution must prove the five following elements without a reason of doubt:

  • An act was committed upon the victim by the defendant in which either
    • The defendant’s sexual organs penetrated or had union with the vagina, mouth, or anus of the victim; or
    • An object was used to penetrate the victim’s vagina or anus; and
  • The victim was physically unable to resist, or
    • The defendant coerced the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious injuries on the victim and the victim reasonably believed the defendant had the present ability to execute the threat; or
    • The defendant coerced the victim to submit by threat of retaliation against the victim or any other person and the victim reasonably believed that the defendant had the ability to execute the treat in the future; or
    • Without prior knowledge or consent from the victim, the defendant administered or had knowledge of someone else administering a narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substances to the victim to incapacitate the victim; or
    • The victim was mentally defective, and the defendant had reason to believe or had actual knowledge of this fact;
    • At the time of the incident the defendant was an official or in a position, as a certified law enforcement official or person in control at a probation officer, community control, or similar office, and the defendant was acting in such a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the defendant was in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of the government; or
    • The victim as physically incapacitated; and
  • The act was committed by the defendant without consent of the victim;
  • The age of the defendant; and
  • The age of the victim.

Under Florida law, the State must prove both the defendant and the victim’s age, as the statute charges of sexual assault differ depending on the age of the victim and the offender.

What are the Consequences for Date Rape?

As stated in the Florida Statute § 794.011(5)(b), a person who is of 18 years or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and without physical force and violence commits a second-degree felony.

Aggravated Penalties for Sexual Battery

The penalties for sexual assault increase in severity depending on the specific factual circumstances of each case:

  • Sexual battery committed by a person 18 years or older upon a person 18 years or older, without the person’s consent under some circumstances is classified as a first-degree felony.
  • If sexual battery has been committed upon a person 12 years or older, without that person’s consent, under any specified circumstance, and he or she has previously been convicted of a violation under Subsection (d)(1), first-degree felony has been committed.
  • Sexual battery committed upon a person 12 years or older, without that person’s consent, and with the use of actual physical force causing or likely to cause serious injury or with threat to use a deadly weapon commits a life felony causing or likely to cause serious bodily injury classified as a life felony.
  • Sexual battery committed by a person younger than 18 years old upon a person under 12 years of age is classified as a life felony.

A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

A life felony is punishable by life or at least 30 years and up to $15,000 fines.

How does Florida define Consent?

The Florida Statute defines consent as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. Consent shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.”

Consent is a question that arises in Florida sex crime cases. The determining factor between being charged with and convicted of sexual battery and having sexual battery charges dismissed can be the question of consent.

Additional Resources

The official website of the Florida Legislature—Online Sunshine, provides more information about the types of aggravated circumstances that enhance sexual battery penalties. Here you can also find more information on specified circumstances and helpful definitions under the Florida statute for sexual battery.

Drugs used for Date Rape

Visit Project GHB – a website dedicated to providing helpful information about the various dangers of the drug gamma hydroxyl butyrate (GHB). As GHB is the drug most associated with sexual assault, this website gives vital information about the causes and effects, as well as other drugs including MDMA, Ketamine (Special K), and “roofies”.

Visit University of South Florida’s official website for more information on sexual battery, consent, coercion, and incapacity. There is an informative list of where someone can receive a medical exam, or “rape kit”. The website also provides the contact information for the 24/7 Victim Helpline, as well as the Center for Victim Advocacy.

Find an Attorney for Date Rape in Tampa, Florida

Sex crimes charges in Florida can be incredibly serious. Being investigated for date rape can not only ruin your reputation, but could provide additional consequences such as expulsion from university, prevention of applying for housing, and limitations of where someone can go in the future.

When facing false allegations, these consequences can be detrimental. It is important to speak to an experienced defense attorney about your options.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you review the facts and help to protect your rights. Contact Elsea Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule a free, confidential, consultation about the terms surrounding your case.

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