In a follow-up to a story that made headlines throughout Miami-Dade County a few weeks ago, an adult man and woman have been arrested in New Orleans, Louisiana, in connection with the kidnapping and sexual battery of an eleven year-old child.
The child was walking home from school when she was allegedly abducted by the suspects - a married man and woman - near the intersection of Northwest 15th Avenue and Northwest 50th Street in Miami-Dade County.
The girl was reportedly taken to the couple’s home where she was sexually battered.
Since the child was under 12, the crime will be sexual battery on a child under 12, which is a life felony in Florida. As well, under the Jessica Lunsford Act, an offender convicted of a sexual battery or lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12 faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 25 years, followed by lifetime Sex Offender Probation with GPS monitoring. The offender would also have to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator.
Kidnapping, as well, is punishable by life in prison.
The accused man and woman were located in New Orleans and were identified by surveillance video showing their case (as well as a tag number) and the physical description given by the alleged victim.
When there is a tag number, detectives can link it to vehicle registration, which can be linked to a driver’s license photo. The photos will be shown to the victim in a six-photo lineup and then the victim can make the identification.
With the tag number on tape and the alleged victim’s identification of the two suspects, police had enough probable cause to arrest.
Since the suspects have been located out of state there will be extradition proceedings to return them to Miami-Dade County to face prosecution.
Eric Matheny is a Miami sex crimes attorney and Broward sex crimes attorney representing clients charged with sexual and sexually-related offenses in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida.