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Teen finally agrees to avoided plea deal in sex crime case

Reuters reports that a teen who was charged with a sex crime involving a minor has given in to the idea of making a plea deal. Her criminal defense attorney shares how the threat of conviction was "too risky" given that the young defendant could have faced severe sentencing for sex crimes.

Prison time isn't all that a teen defendant faced if convicted of the sexual offenses involving a minor. For having a sexual relationship at the age of 18 with a girl who was 14, the teen could have been sentenced to more than a decade of incarceration. And that isn't all that the defendant, her family and her attorney wanted to avoid.

A 14-year-old's family reported to police that their daughter and the elder female student were having a sexual relationship. Since that report, life got crazy and scary for the teen. She was charged with lewd and lascivious assault on a minor. The sex crime case became national news, with the defendant's supporters convinced that the system was being hard on her because she was gay.

The felony conviction could have potentially required that the defendant register as a sex offender. Though that isn't prison, that sentence alone is an extreme life-changer. Therefore, the defendant ultimately chose the path of no contest pleas. She didn't plead not guilty, but the pleas will save her from spending a significant time incarcerated, as well as from having to become part of the sex offender registry.

Determining how to get through allegations of sexual offenses is a personal, imporant process that should be made with the experienced guidance of a criminal defense lawyer. There might be no easy decision, but perhaps there is an option that will best serve the interests of all involved. 


Source: Reuters, "Florida high-schooler takes plea deal in sex crime case," Barbara Liston, Oct. 3, 2013

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