Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

He had just turned 22 and his love interest was 15. Years ago, it might simply have been considered a Romeo-and-Juliet story. iphone1

But this is modern day, and he was a Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy and that 15-year-old was legally a child. That meant the short video clip the teen sent to his older paramour of himself engaged in a personal sex act was child pornography.

For this exchange and for driving to meet that teenager, fired deputy Matthew Bondi, a Deerfield Beach native, has pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge, as codified in 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(2). By knowingly receiving a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, he committed a crime formally classified as sexual exploitation of a minor. Now that he has pleaded guilty, Bondi faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. The Sun-Sentinel reports he is expected to be sentenced early next year. Continue reading

For sex and sexual contact with two 17-year-old girls, a 30-year-old former Army recruiter will serve 12 years in federal prison, following a plea agreement for which child pornography charges were dropped. jail1

Jose Nieves Jr., from Sunrise, pleaded guilty to two counts of enticing a child to engage in sexual activity. Per 18 U.S. Code 2422, coercion and enticement, any person who persuades, induces, entices or coerces anyone to travel interstate to engage in any sexual activity (including prostitution) can be charged with this offense, for which the minimum penalty is 10 years and the maximum is 12 years.

However, by agreeing to plead guilty to these charges, he was able to evade conviction on the production of child pornography charge, as codified in 18 U.S.C. 2251, sexual exploitation of children. This statute punishes anyone who entices a minor into sexual conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of such conduct to between 10 years and life in prison. Continue reading

Marino Vigna was a dentist who primarily treated geriatric patients suffering from dementia in nursing homes throughout Southeast Florida. dentist

The Florida Attorney General’s office launched an investigation back in 2012 when they received information indicating the dentist may have been engaging in fraudulent billing practices. There were allegations he was charging for services he never completed. In other cases, there were instance in which it was alleged patients had dental work completed when it wasn’t necessary.

In search of billing records that might support these assertions, state investigators seized several office computers in June of this year. These included hard drivers and business records. But when they opened those records, they allegedly found something else entirely: Child pornography. Continue reading

When a prospective juror in Palm Beach County stated in front of 70 others that a rape case defendant didn’t deserve a fair trail and ought to be “hung outside,” it was opined by the judge to be an attempt to get out of jury duty.gavel1

The judge said it won’t work. It’s possible the juror may face sanctions for his remarks in a courtroom this past July. The comments were made in response to a question by the judge. Still, the judge agreed to grant a defense motion to excuse all 70 prospective jurors, despite objections from prosecutors that it wasn’t necessary.

Now, the judge has ruled the case will continue with another attempt at trial. Attorneys for the defendant, 54-year-old Frederick Lincoln Smart, had argued the trial shouldn’t go forward at all because there was a deadline to hold the trial by no later than Aug. 6th. Smart filed a demand for a speedy trial, which meant there was only 50 days in which to commence the trial under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.191(b). Continue reading

A 52-year-old massage parlor employee in Margate was arrested following an undercover investigation by local police.
Authorities say Jinping Yang, was routinely offering to masturbate male massage customers (known as a “happy ending”), and additionally was working as a masseuse without a license.

Yang allegedly charged $45 for a half-hour massage for an undercover detective, who was equipped with an audio listening and recording device. After 20 minutes of massage, she allegedly ordered detective on his back, she told him she could massage his chest, but then motioned to his groin area. Detective agreed, and then gave a verbal alert to officers on standby to take action. Defendant was arrested for lewd lascivious actions and working without a masseuse license.
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One might say the outcome of Xiaoqin Li’s criminal case was a “happy ending” of sorts.
On the one hand, the former massage parlor owner did plead guilty to three criminal charges, including two for running a house of prostitution and another for money laundering. For that, she’ll have to serve at least nine months in jail, followed by 10 years of probation, with the first year of that on house arrest with an ankle monitor. She also has to agree to forfeit nearly $200,000 in funds seized from the business.

On the other hand, she avoided a lengthy prison sentence. Had she been convicted at trial of all the charges against her, she faxed a minimum term of four years, or a maximum term of 35 years.

The 52-year-old defendant and her two employees were arrested after a long police investigation sparked by complaints from neighboring businesses that the women were providing more than massages. Specifically, Li and her employees were accused of performing sex acts for money after massages at the business, which catered almost exclusively to male clientele.
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A Florida man convicted of burglary of an occupied dwelling and sexual battery will receive a new trial after an appeals court agreed the trial court wrongly entered evidence of statements he made to authorities prior to his arrest.
In Moss v. Florida, the state’s 1st DCA found there was sufficient evidence to show defendant exercised his right to remain silent during the second questioning.

The law affords suspects in criminal cases the right to remain silent. However, thanks to ill-advised and over-simplified television programs, there is vast misunderstanding as to what exactly these rights are and when and how they may be invoked.

A “Miranda Warning” as it is called, is derived from the First Amendment protection against self-incrimination. This advises suspects what they cay can be used against them in court, that they have the right to consult a lawyer, that the lawyer can be present during questioning, that a lawyer represent them free of cost if they can’t afford one and that they have the right to stop answering police questions at any time. This warning must be provided when a person is interrogated while in police custody (a situation in which a reasonable person in suspect’s situation would not feel free to leave).
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A man who reportedly directed a high-stakes prostitution ring in South Florida – one with ties to a law firm tainted by a huge Ponzi scheme scandal – has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.legs.jpg

The 51-year-old defendant admitted guilt for arranging encounters with prostitutes from his “high-end adult escort agency” to wealthy clients throughout South Florida and in other cities. Some of the women employed by the operation were Florida natives, although some were recruited from some Eastern European countries.

Posing as tourists, the women were housed in various locations across the Pompano Beach area, but on occasion traveled on “tours” in cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, where sexual encounters with various clients were arranged.
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Most people view domestic violence as a kind of misdemeanor crime that can fairly easily be overcome in court, as the accusations are largely he-said-she-said.

Sometimes, this is true. And it’s also true that a lot of allegations get overblown as a result of statements made in the intensity and heat of an emotional argument. However, it’s also true that certain domestic violence cases in Florida can result in felony convictions accompanied by decades-long prison sentences.

In the recent case of a former Broward County bailiff, reports say he narrowly escaped a life sentence for a conviction on charges that he kidnapped and raped his wife on the day she asked for a divorce.
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For a long time, the stigma of prostitution primarily stung those arrested for selling their bodies. However, there is a growing awareness that in many of those cases, those individuals may not have had a choice in the matter.
Because of this, and the fact that a prostitution conviction can have a negative effect on so many aspects of one’s future and opportunities, the state of Florida, among others, offers an avenue of relief for some. It’s a little-known remedy known as a “vacatur of conviction.” Essentially, it allows victims of human trafficking to have their convictions vacated entirely.

It’s different from having one’s record expunged or pardoned.
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