It’s been dubbed the “sex-on-the-beach” trial.
A Florida jury on Monday convicted Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, on charges that they had sex on Bradenton Beach in broad daylight. They face up to 15 years behind bars and will have to register as sex offenders.
Each of them faced two charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, the Bradenton Herald reported.
Defense attorney Ronald Kurpiers told the newspaper that Caballero and Alvarez were “devastated” by the jury’s decision.
Prosecutors — including the elected 12th Circuit State Attorney Ed Brodsky — sought a conviction in the high-profile trial to make it clear that such behavior is not acceptable on the community’s public beaches.
“We’re dealing with basically tourists, that came from Brandon and Riverview and West Virginia, and they’re here on the beaches of Manatee County, our public beaches,” Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca said, according to the Herald. “So you want to make sure that this isn’t something that just goes by the wayside. And that it is well known to the community, what will be tolerated and what won’t be.”
Oh dear God! Talk about overkill. How about a stiff fine and some community service and that’s it? Don’t we have enough people in prison already? Now, I am not supporting their actions at all. Their behavior was inappropriate at best, and illegal at worst. However, we don’t send people to prison for having sex, as consenting adults. That is just as childish as having sex on the beach in broad daylight.
I expect the case will not pass muster during an appeal. According to the WaPo:
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in Manatee County, an officer responded to a 911 call on July 20, 2014, about a man and woman having intercourse. The caller said she “was very upset because her 4-year-old daughter witnessed the couple having sex on the beach.”
Six other witnesses also filled out complaints. The great-grandmother of two children who witnessed the pair recorded them on her cellphone. The footage went viral online and became a key piece of evidence in the trial. April Champ, the grandmother of the children, said it looked as if Caballero and Alvarez were having sex, although she didn’t see their genitals or penetration.
Don’t you bet everyone went home with a story to tell!
Sigh, I am reminded of an event many years ago, while I was at Duck, NC. It seems some hometown kids knew I was down there with my kids. Apparently some of them got taken to “Duck jail” because they had chosen to have sex on the beach, at night. I got the call to come get them. “I am not their parent” didn’t work. The Duck sheriff wanted an adult. It was a long night. I quacked at them for many years after that, every time I saw them around town.