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Broward County man jailed for sexual battery of teens

A charge of committing sex acts with minors can be devastating to a person's reputation and is likely to lead to incarceration. A Wilton Manors, Florida, man learned this the hard way recently when he landed in a cell at the Broward County Jail, having been accused of committing sex crimes against two teenage girls.

According to reports, sometime after 3:30 a.m. on the morning of the incident, the man was walking near the Kids in Distress shelter for neglected and abused children, where the girls were residents. Police say he spoke to some teens, then climbed over a wall to reach them and engaged in sexual activity with them.

Investigators learned and the man's identity from an anonymous tip, and then discovered that he was out of the city on a cruise. When the cruise ship returned to the Port of Miami, officers boarded the ship and arrested the man. He was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 15 years old as well as with lewd or lascivious exhibition.

The Kids in Distress shelter fired two employees following the incident for failing to adequately supervise and protect the children in their care. Shelter officials are currently investigating the organization's security procedures.

Accusations of sexual assault are taken seriously in Broward County. But people accused of committing sex crimes against minors are often unfairly judged before even reaching trial. It's important that during the man's trial and legal proceedings he is given the benefit of being innocent until proven guilty.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Bond set at $250,000 for man accused of sexual assaults at Wilton Manors shelter," Ihosvani Rodriguez, Jan. 29, 2013

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