Three different teachers in three different parts of the state are facing counts of sexual battery, soliciting a minor, and other sexual misconduct charges this week. The charges were all filed in the same week.
In one case, a 37-year-old teacher asked a student to stay after class. He turned off the lights and asked her to come back into his office with him. He then touched her breast and began masturbating. He gave the girl $100 and told her that she shouldn’t feel bad. She reported the misconduct and according to police, the teacher confessed to the charges. He is facing child abuse charges and sexual offenses against a student by an authority figure.
In a separate incident, another teacher is accused of caressing the leg of a female student. The teacher stayed in a position where he was standing over her and staring. The student asked the teacher why he was staring and told police that she was “creeped out”. Later during class, the student had her head down on her desk. The teacher allegedly pulled her head up by the hair and whispered in her ear, “No hable,” which is Spanish for “Don’t talk”. Later, after class, he asked the student, “What, no hug?” The student reported that she felt the teacher was attempting to sexually engage with her. The defendant has characterized the accusations as “absurd,” but other students have corroborated the student’s story.
The third incident involves a teacher who allegedly kissed a student. The student reported the matter to her parents. The parents became concerned when they witnessed the teacher with his arm around their daughter. During an investigation into the allegations, the teacher allegedly asked witnesses to extra-curricular conduct not to say anything to the police. He is charged with lewd and lascivious conduct and witness tampering.
Analyzing defense strategies in these cases
Defense strategies run the gamut in sexual abuse cases against children. The role of a criminal defense attorney is to protect his client from false allegations and to ensure that his debt to the state is not over-burdensome in accord with the law just because emotions are running hot. That being said, there isn’t a lot you can do once your client has confessed to the crime. Most of your leverage to negotiate a plea is gone. So, in the first case, the attorney would be in a position where he is negotiating sentencing with the district attorney. It certainly isn’t an instance where you want your client, who confessed to sexual battery, masturbated in front of a child, and then paid her $100, to roll the dice before a jury.
In the second case, you have perhaps a worse defendant who is accused of not only committing sexual battery on a student but then apparently threatening her (“No hable”) to remain quiet concerning the conduct. While the teacher is denying the allegations, he has an entire classroom of witnesses to deal with.
Lastly, a teacher who was allegedly openly attempting to court a student by inappropriately instigating couple-like interactions asked a park full of witnesses not to say anything to the police.
So, guilty pleas appear likely in all cases.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. helps those who have been charged with serious crimes defend themselves from the charges. In some cases, this could mean denying the charges entirely. In other cases that might mean negotiating a reasonable plea or sentencing arrangement. Call our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys today to learn more about how we can help.