After a lengthy period of investigation, a Fort Pierce man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on lewdness charges. According to the indictment, the 30 year old teacher sent lewd photographs to a minor student.
The man first was brought to police notice after an anonymous citizen told the school district that the teacher was sending inappropriate messages over Snapchat, a popular image sharing app. After examining the Snapchat account of the victim, Port St. Lucie police determined that there was enough evidence to arrest the teacher. In addition to encouraging the minor to engage in sexually explicit conversations, the man also sent a lewd photograph to the student. The former teacher was arrested a few months ago, and he has been waiting for arraignment since then.
The man’s lawyer is protesting the decision to indict the man on a federal level because many other Florida teachers in similar cases were just prosecuted through the state. If the man is convicted of a federal charge of entice a child to engage in sexual activity over the internet, he could face up to life in prison, and there is a minimum sentence of at least ten years. The Fort Pierce federal defense attorney hopes to reach a resolution for her client that will prevent him from receiving maximum charges.
The state prosecutors have not explained why they decided to move the case over to the federal level, but it seems to be part of a growing trend of increased sentences and penalties for people who engage in inappropriate sexual contact with minors over the internet. This may be due to growing legal knowledge about how the internet and technology work. Until the case is tried, the man will be held in the county jail. He is not allowed to be released on bond because he has been deemed a flight risk.
These types of cases come with very serious legal consequences, so it is important to have a talented criminal defense lawyer on your side who can defend against charges of internet crimes. At the office of Jonathan Jay Kirschner, our talented team can work with you to get the best possible outcome for your case. If you or someone you know is dealing with a similar legal case, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.