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Florida Couple Must Register as Sex Offenders for Having Sex on a Beach

Just after 8 PM on July 20, 2014, Elissa Alvarez, 20, and Jose Caballero, 40 had consensual sex on Cortez Beach in Manatee County, Florida. Witnesses videotaped the encounter and called 911. The couple was arrested and charged with felony lewd and lascivious exhibition, and the case proceeded to trial, with the prosecutors in the case initially seeking an “absurdly draconian” 15-year prison sentence for Caballero. A jury convicted them on May 4.

On Wednesday, Alvarez, who has no previous criminal record, was released from jail after accepting a plea for time served. She will now have to register as a sex offender. The state is now seeking a 2 1/2-year sentence for Caballero, who has a prior drug offense. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

Twelfth Circuit State Attorney Ed Brodsky, who bragged of prosecuting serious sex crimes when he ran for the position, joined in prosecuting the couple.

This case is an example of stark raving madness in the criminal justice system. Sex offender registration will follow both of these individuals for the rest of their lives. Nearly all employers now perform background checks, where the sex offender registry is the first item listed in the results of the background search. This case is also an example of the common prosecutorial practice of guilty plea extortion in today’s broken criminal justice system. If you are charged with a non-violent crime, and you have the utter temerity to take the case to trial instead of taking the plea, you end up with a more serious permanent record (and more jail/prison time) than violent offenders who actually harmed people- but took a plea. In other words, if Caballero had actually raped a woman but dealt the case from the outset, the prosecution would not have threatened him with fifteen years in prison to begin with.

Woman gets time served in beach-sex case; state seeks 2.5 years for man

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  • John Kelly

    The law and order fetishists believe in punishment, not justice.

  • Alice X

    They will keep those prison-industrial complex bucks flowing.

  • Bluedot

    Were kids watching?

  • Bluedot

    Another question. Did the States Attorney keep the videotape?

  • John Kelly

    Much more important consideration that the sadistic persecution of this couple. Children might be permanently damaged by seeing something non-violent!

  • jo6pac

    It’s already been sold to the inter-tubes site;) SA kept the cash.

  • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

    I think the word is revenge instead of justice.

  • Rachel

    Hi Bluedot. Yes, witnesses at trial testified that the sexual encounter on the beach was witnessed by a 3-year-old.
    …which probably means the couple will also be viewed as child molesters. To elaborate on John Kelly’s next comment, any kid in America who happens by a television set these days can witness real violence and killing, beheadings, all matter of violence and destruction…but this…this is the top priority?

    Just…everything is wrong with our criminal ‘justice’ system and with this case, but my first thought was, why would people film the event and/or allow the child to stare at it? Seriously.

  • Bluedot

    I also wonder why the couple would do it on a beach? No self respect or self awareness or concern for children either.

  • Frederick Leatherman

    Sex in public places is a pretty popular fantasy and fetish, until it meets up with the rather harsh reality of sand.

  • Bluedot

    The punishment is severe. Sex registration and two and a half years is overreach. It bothers me that they apparently were very open about it and not at all aware of their surroundings. I also do not think kindly about a small child there.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    I agree that the sand is a rude awakening, Mason, once was enough for me…! 😉

  • Donald B.

    Perhaps there wasn’t anyone else around when things started to heat up. Others could’ve come along later and gone unnoticed by the preoccupied coupled.

  • Chris Maukonen

    Only in Florida…OY !

  • PCM

    Stalk a black kid and shoot him dead when he challenges you, get off scot-free. Have sex on the beach, get lifetime registration as a sex offender and maybe two and a half years in the slammer. Florida: a state that really has its priorities straight.

  • Bluedot

    I think it is interesting that the SA is keen to prosecuting serious sex crimes. So if you can’t find one, manufacture one perhaps.

  • Shutter

    Small-minded people. We’ve turned into a country full of self-righteous pipsqueaks.

  • dubinsky

    getting a sex-offender tag is reasonable

    a year in the pen ain’t.

  • Rachel

    I agree, PCM.

  • Frederick Leatherman

    Ugh! Getting a sex offender tag for having sex on a beach is absurd. I did it in my teens and I knew others who did. None of us were sex offenders. I also did it after dark on the 18th green of a golf course that has hosted televised pro tournaments, not to mention a car at a drive-in movie.

  • dubinsky

    and my girlfriend and I got thrown out of the Bronx Zoo when I was a kid…..but these weren’t kids, Fred.

    and wanting to perform for the public is something that is deviant when the public isn’t there for the show

    ” This is a family-oriented beach with plenty of kids…”

  • Frederick Leatherman

    She was 20. He was 40. I’m not the least bit offended. I don’t believe such conduct should be criminalized. Of course, my impression is the couple didn’t realize anyone was watching, much less videotaping the escapade.

  • dubinsky

    whether you or I are offended doesn’t mean shit to a tree, Fred.

    and never does your impression….

    they were videotaped and there was more than one complaint phoned in to the cops.

    nobody screws in the middle of a public beach when they can see and be seen by by a couple of dozen people, including kids, with any expectation other than to be seen….and try not to raise frivolous argument, including suggesting consideration of an unreasonable expectation of privacy, merely because y’ain’t gonna get gavelled.