Edwin McFarlane, 15, is facing Florida criminal charges after attacking a female student on a school bus. According to a handwritten note released by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, McFarlane, of Minneola, Florida, asked the girl if they could “just move on and forget this all happened … I am so sorry that even though you told me no, I still tried to [redacted] you … I thought the moment was right and I was wrong.” The charges against McFarlane are so serious that he must remain in custody at Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center. McFarlane has been arrested on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment. McFarlane, the victim and another student were riding a bus from an after-school tutoring program to catch other buses that would transport them to their respective homes. Surveillance video on the after-school tutoring bus captured the girl saying “no” multiple times. Although a bus seat obscures some of the action taking place, deputies and investigators reported that the girl was laying on her back attempting to take a nap when McFarlane unbuttoned her shit, touched her breasts, unzipped her pants and touched her inside her underwear. This is not McFarlane’s first run-in with law enforcement. Last year, he was also arrested on a false-imprisonment charge that was later dropped within three weeks. Surveillance video from a Burlington Coat Factory in Ocoee, depicted McFarlane exiting the store with a 3-year-old girl. Detectives said he confined the girl, whom he did not personally know, against her will; McFarlane said he helping the girl find her mother. He eventually walked the little girl back to the store where her mother was. A week after he was arrested, McFarlane appeared on Good Morning American to proclaim his innocence. After his appearance and at the request of Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar dropped the charges and decided not to prosecute. For more details read Florida teenage boy faces serious criminal charges after attacking girl on school bus.
Of course, Edwin McFarlane will be entitled to representation by a Florida criminal defense attorney or the services of the Florida Public Defender’s office. It appears that evidence will consist of the video tape surveillance, witness statements, as well as the statements of Edwin McFarlane himself.
Surveillance video can be helpful in criminal and civil cases as evidence to prove or defend the allegations in the case. As a prevention measure, surveillance video can help deter criminal acts or bad acts if the children or others in video know and understand that the videotape surveillance could get them in trouble.