Lewd and Lascivious Crime Against Children

Fighting for Your Rights and Freedom in Florida State and Federal Courts

Florida law prohibits all lewd or lascivious (sexual) touching of a child. Depending on the age of the accused, the age of the child, and the nature of the touching, this conduct can be punishable by life in prison. Ignorance of the child’s age, the child’s “consent,” and the child’s lack of chastity are not defense to these sex crime charges.

What are the different lewd or lascivious crimes against children?

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
(Child Molestation or Sexual Assault upon a Child)

This is defined in the state of Florida as intentionally touching the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a child younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner; or encouraging, forcing, or enticing a child younger than 16 to touch another person in a lewd or lascivious manner.

If the accused is over 18 years old and the victim is under 12 years old, this is considered a life felony, and the punishment for a first time offender is at least 25 years in prison followed by probation for life up to a maximum sentence of life in prison.

If the accused is over 18 years old and the victim is older than 12 years old but younger than 16 years old, then this is considered a second degree felony, and the punishment is at least 4 ¼ years in prison with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

If the accused is under 18 years old and the victim is under 12 years old, this is considered a third degree felony, and the punishment is at least 3 years in prison up to 15 years in prison.

Lewd or Lascivious Battery
(Statutory Rape)

This is defined in the state of Florida as sexual activity with a child older than 12, but younger than 16; or encouraging, forcing, or enticing a child older than 12, but younger than 16 to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity. This is a second degree felony, and a first time offender who is convicted faces a minimum sentence of seven and a half years in prison up to a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison.

Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
(Improper Sexual Touching of a Child)

This is defined in the state of Florida as intentionally touching a person under 16 years old in a lewd or lascivious manner; or soliciting a person under 16 years old to commit a lewd or lascivious act.

If the offender is over 18 years old, this is considered a second degree felony and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of two and a half years if touching is alleged and probation if only solicitation is alleged. It can also result in up to a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

If the offender is under 18 years old, this is considered a third degree felony and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of two and a half years if touching is alleged and probation if only solicitation is alleged. It can also result in up to a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.

Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition
(Indecent Exposure to a Child)

This is defined in the state of Florida as committing any of the following acts in the presence of a child younger than 16 years old: intentionally masturbating, intentionally exposing the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or intentionally committing any other sexual act not involving actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity.

If the offender is over 18 years old, then this is considered a second degree felony. It carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a minimum sentence of probation.

If the offender is under 18 years old, then this is considered a third degree felony. This carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a minimum sentence of probation.

The Role of Age in Florida Sex Crimes

It is important to note that both the age of the person allegedly committing the crime and the age of the victim play a significant role in the severity of the crime. Moreover, it is not a defense to internet sex crimes, which could be viewed by a child (lewd or lascivious exhibition), that an undercover police officer was the targeted victim and involved in the detection and investigation of the crime.

To obtain more information about lewd and lascivious crimes, sexual assaults on minors or other crimes involving children, contact an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney. When the stakes are high, experience matters, so be sure to find out about your attorney’s background and knowledge of defending sex crimes in court.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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