Court Okays Sex Offender Treatment in Florida Car-Jacking Case

A Florida sex crime conviction is a serious situation that can have significant and lasting consequences. If you get arrested again, you may be looking at more severe penalties. As a recent decision out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit shows, a court has the right to impose penalties related to the original sex crime, even if they are not directly related to the second conviction.

Defendant was convicted of car-jacking and sentenced to federal prison following an undisclosed incident. He was eventually given a supervised release. As part of the terms of that release, a federal judge ordered Defendant to participate in a sex-offender treatment program and to refrain from having unsupervised contact with minors. The judge noted that Defendant had previously been convicted of sex crimes against a child under the age of 12 and that he’d undergone psychological treatment for about two years prior to the car-jacking offense. The court also noted that Defendant didn’t tell his psychologist about the sex offenses during that treatment.

Defendant appealed the decision, arguing that the terms of his release were not reasonably related to the car-jacking offense for which he was convicted. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the decision. The court said the treatment and other requirements were sufficiently related to Defendant’s overall criminal history and could be considered reasonable for public safety purposes. It also said the forced treatment and restrictions on contact with minors were justified based on the “heinous nature” of Defendant’s sex offenses.

“Although [Defendant]’s sex-related convictions were a decade old at the time of his sentencing for carjacking, he never received psychological treatment related to his sexual misconduct with a minor,” the appeals court said. “Hence, the District Court had a reasonable basis upon which to conclude that psychological examination and treatment related to that offense was appropriate, and that the related restrictions on interacting with minors were justified.”

The court cited its 2009 decision in U.S. v. Moran, in which if affirmed similar restrictions for a man convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. In that case, the defendant had a decade earlier been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts and sexual assaults against his wife and child. He had also failed to register as a sex offender. Although the defendant in that case had a more extensive criminal record, the court said the terms of release were justified in both cases by interests in trying to rehabilitate the defendant and protect public safety.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Florida, it is essential that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced lawyer. Clearwater sex crime attorney Will Hanlon is a seasoned lawyer who fights aggressively on behalf of clients charged with a wide range of offenses. Call our offices at (727) 897-5413 or contact us online to speak with Mr. Hanlon about your case.

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