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 subjected to just terrible conduct on the part of perpetrators who put their own sordid and vile interests over the safety and well being of the child. 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 (7), Florida Statutes criminalizes Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition as:
(a) A person who:
1. Intentionally masturbates;
2. Intentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
3. Intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity
in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age, commits lewd or lascivious exhibition.
(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits a lewd or lascivious exhibition 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 a lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8) EXCEPTION.—A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute a violation of this section.
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 Conduct Section 800.04 (6).
Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition is a crime defined by Florida law. Unlike some other crimes as well as sex crimes, there is no legal requirement of a touching, assault or battery when dealing with either the criminal case of Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition or a civil case. When there is no actual physical injury in a civil case, there may be different standards that apply when dealing with the injuries sustained by the child. In these cases, the emotional harm or mental pain and suffering is the focus of the damages or injury in a civil case. Because of the complexities and challenges of emotional injuries ONLY cases, the parents of the injured child should seek legal representation to discuss the potential rights and remedies for the injured child. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer can advise the parents regarding the rights of the child and the potential civil cases seeking damages / compensation for the injured child.