Florida teen dating laws
The girl's mother pressed charges, and Gorby ended up guilty of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor. Nicknamed the "Romeo and Juliet" law, it allows judges the discretion to weigh crimes like Gorby's with the lifelong punishment that comes with being labeled a sex offender. A 2007 law passed by the Florida Legislature is offering people like Gorby a second chance.Some of the articles seem to imply that the prosecution has occurred only because the teenagers are of the same sex.See for example: Huffington Post report: Florida Teen, Faces Felony Charges Over Same-Sex Relationship As a criminal defense attorney who has practiced law in Gainesville, Florida, for more than 25 years, I’ve represented dozens of teenagers charged with sex offenses for engaging in sexual activity with another teen.This most recent case has apparently gained internet traction in the public view only because it involves teenagers of the same sex.Florida prosecutors have for decades been charging mostly heterosexual teenage males with the sex offense “lewd and lascivious assault or battery” upon their teenage girlfriends.So far about 250 people — all but six of them men — have successfully petitioned a judge to remove their name, mug shot, address and other personal information from an online state sex offender and predator database, according to the Florida Senate.Nearly a quarter of the people removed from the database committed their crimes in Pinellas and Pasco counties, the study found, the highest concentration in the state. "I can't tell you why that number is like that," said Beverly Andringa, the Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor who reviews the requests.
Some exceptions to this age of consent requirement exist, such as, if the couple is married, or if the minor is legally emancipated.Spokesmen for the Hillsborough and Pasco sheriff's offices said their sexual offender units do not actively suggest the option.