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A 26-year-old Lake Wales motel manager is accused of video voyeurism.

Police claim the man is the motel’s night office manager at the Budget Inn Motel and allegedly installed a camera in a guest’s bathroom.

According to the arrest affidavit, the camera was facing the shower. Police believe the man  installed the device under the guise the bathroom’s plumbing needed to be fixed.

Police allege that after the man left the room, the guests heard something fall in the bathroom.

Once they discovered the camera, they called law enforcement.

4334711333_613c8ab9bd_zIn addition to video voyeurism, the man is also charged with illegal device to intercept communication.

According to police, the man bonded out on Saturday.

The man is a native of Gujarad, India, and he is currently living in the United States on a student visa. The affidavit requests that the man surrender his passport while the case is ongoing.

A conviction of even a relatively minor sex crime such as voyeurism carries pretty harsh penalties. You not only face a potential year in jail, but even a conviction of a misdemeanor sex crime may require you to register as a sex offender, which restricts where you live or work. A conviction on your record may also cause difficulty with obtaining employment or renting or purchasing a home.

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A 57-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly smeared dog feces on a neighbor whose pet had defecated in the woman’s yard.

The woman was charged with battery on a person 65 years or older and was released Thursday from the Palm Beach County Jail on her own recognizance.

Both the women live at the Woodfield Country Club.

According to an arrest report, the woman’s 67-year-old neighbor was walking her dog when the animal defecated on the woman’s lawn.

3736219520_6e647e6707_zThe neighbor told Boca Raton police that the woman came out of the house screaming. The neighbor said she was trying to pick up after her dog with a plastic bag, but stopped when the woman began yelling at her.

The neighbor apparently told the woman to clean it up herself.

The neighbor then claims the woman grabbed a plastic bag, scooped up the feces and ran after her. She then allegedly smeared the feces on the neighbor.

According to reports, when police arrived, the neighbor had feces on her hands and shirt.

The woman told police that her neighbor frequently allows the dog to defecate on her lawn and never attempts to clean it up. The woman did apparently admit to the police that she picked up the feces and “targeted” her neighbor with it.

The woman told police that the neighbor smeared the feces on herself.

In the state of Florida, if battery is committed upon a person that is 65 years old or older, this is classified as battery on an elderly person. Battery on a person 65 years old or older is a felony, punishable by incarceration and can result in a felony conviction on your criminal record.

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A Penn State University associate sociology professor was arrested during a flight from Nicaragua to Miami on Saturday. Her onboard speech about U.S.-Venezuela relations apparently got her pulled off a flight in Miami.

Authorities claim that the 52-year-old, who lives outside Philadelphia, is facing disorderly conduct and breach of peace charges for going on a rant and lighting a cigarette during the flight.

2500519580_7c31e5dd69_zA passenger apparently caught the alleged rant on video. Police said it shows the woman lighting a cigarette and blaming it on another passenger. Flight attendants requested that police meet the flight in Miami, where the woman was taken into custody.

The woman wrote an email after she returned to Pennsylvania that alleges she was mistreated. She says all she did was speak out against U.S. treatment of Venezuela.

Disorderly conduct is classified as engaging in conduct that caused a disturbance by being unreasonably:

  • Violent
  • Loud
  • Abusive
  • Obscene
  • Boisterous

The problem with disorderly conduct charges is that they are so broadly written they give police officers much room for interpretation. It’s up to the officer who arrives at the scene to assess whether or not behavior should be defined as disorderly. If they do believe disorderly conduct is occurring, or has occurred, police have the authority to make an arrest in any public or private place, which includes an airplane.

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A Gainesville man was arrested Saturday night after police allege he distributed sexually obscene photographs taken of a female who was a minor at the time the photographs were taken.

According to a Gainesville Police Department report, the 36-year-old man and the female had apparently been involved in a two-year sexual relationship that began when the girl, who is now 18 years old, was 16.

The report alleges that the man knew the victim was 16 years old when the relationship began.

During the course of the relationship, the man is accused of taking several nude pictures of the girl. On Saturday, police claim he signed into the girl’s Facebook account and sent the obscene photographs, some of which allegedly featured the man and the girl involved in a sexual act, to some of the girl’s friends without her consent, according to the report.

5269295051_31a102e6ae_mThe girl apparently told police that she recognized the photos as ones that were taken while she was still a minor.

After the man’s arrest, police claim he admitted to having sex with the girl and taking the photographs, but he said that the two didn’t engage in any sexual acts until after the victim turned 18. He allegedly admitted to posting and distributing the photos using the victim’s Facebook account, according to the report.

The man was charged with one felony count of sexual assault involving a minor and one felony count of transmitting obscene material harmful to a minor.

He was transported to the Alachua County jail, where he remained Sunday evening without bond.

Most sex crimes involving minors, including the charge of transmission of material harmful to a minor, are crimes that are punished very harshly in Florida. Law enforcement and prosecutors have one goal in mind, and that is to protect children at all costs. With that said, those that are accused of these sexual crimes stand to face very serious repercussions. An individual convicted of such an offense may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives, in addition to the prison time they will face. Due to the severity of these charges, you need the help of an Alachua County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton who can protect you from these heinous allegations both in and out of court.

Any transmission of obscene material to a minor, which includes nudity or sexual conduct, is considered a sex crime. Any indecent material sent by the internet, text message, email, post mail or in person is classified as a third-degree felony. Every individual transmission can be charged as a separate offense. Multiple images can result in many years behind bars. These charges are no joking matter, so the best thing you can do for your future is to contact our firm right away for the help you need in defeating these charges. Call us today for a free consultation – 352-264-7800.

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Prosecutors decided to drop charges against NFL free agent Chris Johnson this week for a January gun arrest in Orlando, according to court records.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office stated that, “this case is not suitable for prosecution.”

The 29-year-old athlete was stopped on the night of Jan. 9 for running a stop sign while driving with a friend, when an Orlando police officer noticed a pistol on the floor between Johnson’s feet, according to reports.

2775186899_8c2a873539_zThe weapon was apparently a 20-shot Belgian pistol that fires a high-velocity 5.7 mm bullet that can pass through tactical vests worn by police officers. These handguns are legal to own, but police claim that Johnson also had a 9mm Glock pistol in a backpack next to his feet.

Orlando police charged him with open carry of a firearm, but Johnson said he had a valid concealed weapon permit.

Johnson played most recently for the New York Jets and was dropped last season.

Most individuals who are carrying a weapon or firearm on their person do so for protection, and must abide by guidelines of the law. The gun laws in Florida are known for being quite strict, and while these laws can be somewhat confusing, it is very easy for someone who was just trying to protect themselves to wind up on the wrong side of the law.

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A former Alachua County teacher and swim coach has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison after he plead guilty to charges of producing child pornography.

In addition to the prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution to each of his eight victims.

15782655588_f16363387a_zThe 32-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges in September. The man was a behavioral resource teacher for kindergarten through fourth grade and a part-time coach of Gainesville swimming club.

When an individual is charged with a child pornography offense, one of the first lines of defense is to challenge any law enforcement searches or seizures that led to the discovery of images. When evidence is obtained for any crime without a property owner’s consent to search the property, it can be argued that the search has violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When a violation of constitutional rights has occurred, suppression of all evidence seized is a likely possibility.

There are actually many possible defenses to child pornography charges. In certain scenarios, viruses may sometimes automatically download these illegal files to a computer without the owner’s knowledge. Other times, child pornography could have been placed on another person’s computer by someone else. It is even possible for an internet connection to be hijacked by other parties. An Alachua County Federal Child Pornography Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can rifle through the often complex evidence in these types of cases and come up with the best strategy to challenge the government and protect your rights.

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A Clay County man who is already a registered sex offender is now back behind bars after authorities allege he attempted to sexually assault a minor.

The 58-year-old man has been jailed after allegedly attempting to contact the child through his cellphone and trying to entice the victim into sex acts, according to police.

Police said they obtained permission from the alleged victim to contact the man pretending to be the child.

5531939741_901461f3d3_zThe Sheriff’s Office also claims that at one point, the man met with the minor and tried to force his hands down his pants and touch him sexually.

The man was arrested for soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computer services or devices and attempted sexual battery and is being held on a $300,009 bond.

Currently, every state in the U.S. has a sex offender registration law on its books. While sex offender registration laws differ from state to state, every state requires that identifying information about a person convicted of sexual offense be given to state and local police departments. This information usually includes the following:

  • Legal name and all Aliases
  • Residence, Work and School Addresses
  • Palm Prints and Fingerprints
  • Physical Description along with Identifying Features, like a visible birthmark or tattoo.
  • Description of the Offense and Date of the Conviction
  • Description of where the Crime Occurred
  • Current Photograph
  • Copy of a Driver’s License, License Plate Number as well as a Description of all Vehicles Owned.
  • Person’s Social Security Number and Date of Birth
  • All Email Addressed, Online Screen Names, Social Network Handles or all other Online Identities Used

The local law enforcement agency where the registered sex offender resides must make the offender’s registration information available to the public, and post identifying information about the offender on a website that contains a nationwide sex offender database.

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According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, police arrested an Ocala man Friday morning on 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

The 51-year-old man turned himself in at the Marion County Jail and was booked in at 10:45 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He declined to speak with detectives.

4754231502_940e0fe7f1_zThe police began investigating the case after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Police believe the man possessed child pornography and had transmitted it through his email for several years, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

On Tuesday, authorities executed a search warrant at the man’s home where they seized several computers and cellphones containing “hundreds of child pornography images.”

The man was being held at the Marion County Jail on Friday in lieu of $200,000 bond.

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Vanilla Ice, legally named Robert Van Winkle, was arrested in south Florida and charged with burglary and grand theft after police found items allegedly stolen from a foreclosed home at Van Winkle’s residence.

The home of the alleged burglary was adjacent to a house the former rapper was renovating as part of his television show for DIY Network called “The Vanilla Ice Project.”

Lantana police claim that after conducting an investigation into possible squatting, they found that several items including furniture, a pool heater, bicycles and pieces of art were taken from the home of a recently deceased man. When officers spoke to Vanilla Ice at the property, they allege that he told them he had purchased it.

5076391518_9593765c83_zReports indicate that he had no contract or down payment, and was only filming renovations of the home next door.

Police then obtained a warrant to search Ice’s Palm Beach home where they claim they found the missing items. Ice was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail. He was later released after posting $6,000 bail.

Following his release, he told reporters that the entire episode was a “misunderstanding.”

Ice was charged with burglary as well as grand theft.

This is not Ice’s first run-in with the law. The entertainer has been arrested four times in the past for domestic assault, brandishing weapons and disorderly conduct. Additionally, he was forced to pay fines after his pet wallaroo and pet goat escaped from his home and wandered his Port St. Lucie neighborhood for more than a week.

According to Florida state statute 810.02, burglary is defined as:

entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.

If Ice is convicted of burglary, he could face up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Grand theft charges are even more complicated than burglary charges. The potential penalties associated with a grand theft conviction can vary. Consequences depend on the total value of the items stolen.

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Kurt Busch is accused of smashing his ex-girlfriend’s head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County (Del.) family court commissioner who granted the woman’s request for a protective order last week.

Busch is scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he is slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500.

NASCAR has not disciplined Busch at this time. The organization is waiting for the findings and for a possible decision by the Delaware attorney general’s office on whether charges will be filed for the alleged Sept. 26 assault.

“The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that, on September 26, 2014, Respondent [Busch] committed an act of domestic violence against Petitioner by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motorhome,” commissioner David Jones wrote in his findings and conclusions.

8736203623_6c8f58b75d_zAs part of his decision, Jones requires for Busch “to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional” and complete any further steps for treatment that person recommends.

Busch apparently told police that his ex entered his motor home uninvited, adding that they had broken up a week earlier, and that he cupped her face with his hands while repeatedly asking her to leave.

Jones released his opinion last week, stating that he believes the ex-girlfriend’s version of the events that night was more credible. He added that Busch’s version of events does not make sense and does not match up with the evidence.

Busch has asked Jones to reconsider the ruling.

Domestic violence refers to any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Domestic violence cases in Florida are usually very sensitive cases that are highly fueled by emotion. These types of cases usually have increased public and media attention, especially when involving a celebrity. A conviction for domestic violence also carries minimum mandatory sentencing, so these cases need to be treated very carefully by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Even if you have no previous criminal record, you need to have a defense attorney fighting in your corner.

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