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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Sex Crimes / Prohibited defenses against lewd and lascivious molestation

Prohibited defenses against lewd and lascivious molestation

Children’s natural innocence can sometimes cause them to misunderstand certain situations. This makes them more susceptible to potential harm.

In such cases, ensuring their safety becomes our top priority. Defenses centered around a child’s consent or lack of understanding due to their age might not have a strong legal basis. Recognizing these banned defenses is crucial when dealing with allegations of inappropriate behavior, like lewd and lascivious molestation.

Understanding the crime

Lewd and lascivious acts are often known as child molestation. It involves purposeful inappropriate touching of children below 16 years old in places like:

  • Breasts
  • Genitals
  • Region around the genitals
  • Buttocks
  • Covered areas mentioned above

This offense also includes cases where an adult encourages, pressures or lures a minor under 16 to take part in similar inappropriate touching with someone else.

Prohibited defenses

There are certain defenses that are commonly used in legal cases that cannot be employed in lewd and lascivious molestation cases. This may include:

  • Victim’s lack of chastity: Using the victim’s past behavior as an excuse may not be valid in these cases. What truly matters are the wrong actions committed by the person responsible, not the victim’s background or actions.

  • Victim’s consent: The victim’s agreement or perceived willingness may not excuse anything either. Even if the victim agrees, the law recognizes the vulnerability of minors. Its aim is to protect them from any form of exploitation.

In addition, certain factors related to the victim’s age cannot be used as defenses:

  • Perpetrator’s ignorance: Claiming ignorance about the victim’s age is not a valid defense. Perpetrators cannot argue that they were unaware of the minor’s age as a means to escape legal consequences.

  • Victim’s misrepresentation: Even if the victim lied about their age, it is not a defense for the wrongdoer. Adults must verify a minor’s age before getting involved in anything questionable.

  • Bona fide belief: Even if the perpetrator genuinely believed that the victim was of legal age, this belief does not absolve them of liability.

No matter what the victim did or said, an adult should act responsibly around minors. Certain excuses will not be valid when it comes to addressing inappropriate conduct, such as lewd and lascivious molestation.

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