New Sex Law Has Loophole Victim, Offender in Same School

By Appelbaum, Binyamin | The Florida Times Union, August 9, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

New Sex Law Has Loophole Victim, Offender in Same School

Appelbaum, Binyamin, The Florida Times Union

Byline: Binyamin Appelbaum, Times-Union staff writer

ORANGE PARK -- A gray area in a state law requiring schools to keep youth sex offenders away from their victims has left the Clay County school system scrambling for legal grounds to separate two students at a Keystone Heights school.

The year-old law mandates the removal of students convicted of sex crimes from the schools and buses used by their victims. It does not apply, however, to student offenders placed in a pretrial rehabilitation program, state officials confirmed this week.

The implications of that distinction apparently had gone unnoticed until the mother of a 13-year-old student at Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School learned last week that an 18-year-old man would be permitted to return to her daughter's school this fall despite acknowledging he had sex with the girl in the spring. Neither the girl nor her mother is being identified to protect the girl's identity.

The man, 17 at the time, was charged with lewd and lascivious battery because those under age 16 cannot consent to sex under Florida law. He is not being identified because he was charged as a juvenile.

The victim's mother allowed the teen to be placed in a pretrial diversionary program that seeks to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. The state won't discuss the terms of the agreement because it involved a juvenile, but the program generally requires participants to meet a list of requirements over a period anywhere from six months to two years. If the teen meets the terms of the program, he will not face charges.

Because the teen was never tried or convicted of the charge and made no formal admission of guilt, he is not barred by law from attending the same school as his victim, the State Attorney's Office confirmed Wednesday.

That has left the mother of the victim furious with what she said was an insufficient explanation of the consequences of allowing the teen to enter the diversionary program.

"She was willing to allow him to have something where his future would not be ruined," said Daniel Glassman, a lawyer retained by the victim's family. "Obviously, this was something she had never contemplated."

Assistant State Attorney Maryanne Yeomans, the prosecutor responsible for the case, acknowledged the mother was not informed the teen could return to school if he was placed in the diversionary program. Yeomans said she was unaware of that possible consequence and that the State Attorney's Office is not responsible for the implementation or enforcement of this law.

Because the teen has already signed an agreement, Yeomans said the victim's family can no longer retract its consent for his participation.

The law was proposed by state Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville, after he read a November 2000 story in the Times-Union about a Clay County teen who had to ride the school bus with her rapist and of another who saw her attacker in the school lunchroom.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

New Sex Law Has Loophole Victim, Offender in Same School


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?