In home, schools, day care centers, and other locations, children should be cared for in a supportive environment that protects the children and focuses on the health, safety and welfare of the children. These places should be safe havens for children. Unfortunately and, yes, tragically, many children are injured, molested, and / or harmed in the very environment that should be safety zones or areas for children. Section 800.04, Florida Statutes contains some of the Florida law on point when a child is subjected to or exposed to the inappropriate / conduct of the alleged perpetrator. Each part of the statutes (like other laws on point) provide some details and definitions as to the nature of the conduct and the seriousness or level of the crime associated with such conduct.
Section 800.04 (6), Florida Statutes criminalizes Lewd or Lascivious Conduct as:
(a) A person who:
1. Intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
2. Solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act
commits lewd or lascivious conduct.
(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Within the same statute (Section 800.04, Florida Statutes), there is also reference to the following crimes as well: Lewd or Lascivious Battery under Section 800.04 (4), Lewd or Lascivious Molestation under Section 800.04 (5), and Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Section 800.04 (7).
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct is a crime defined by Florida law. If a person is successfully prosecuted for this crime, the perpetrator / criminal defendant could face prison time for these criminal acts. With or without a successful criminal prosecution, a civil case can also be pursued against the criminal defendant and possibly other entities depending on their fault or negligence in allowing or failing to stop the criminal acts from being committed. For example, if a school failed to do a background check or otherwise failed to properly supervise a school employee, this may be a basis to include the school (private or public) in a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages / injuries sustained by the child.
Civil cases involving Lewd or Lascivious Conduct can be quite complicated. Because of this, it is often times helpful for a child and the child’s parents to have legal representation on these matters. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer can advise the parents regarding the rights of the child, available remedies, possible sources of compensation, and other matters.