A Davie police officer charged with sexual battery is about to go on trial for a second time after his first trial ended in a mistrial.
The mistrial was declared because a juror admitted to conducting her own research using Wikipedia. Jurors are instructed only to rely upon the evidence presented to them during the trial, not on outside sources.
The officer is accused of committing a sexual battery on a 19-year old relative who was supposedly staying with the officer and his wife. The officer is accused of drugging the 19-year old and then committing the sexual battery while she was under the influence of the drug.
The Broward State Attorney's Office changed the charge to sexual battery against a victim helpless to resist, changing the officer's exposure to 30 years in prison up from 15.
A sexual battery conviction can not only lead to prison time, it can lead to a sexual offender or sexual predator designation.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.