A Florida couple found guilty on Monday of having sex on a Bradenton beach could face up to 15 years in prison for the crime.
Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, were charged with two counts each of lewd and lascivious behavior for having sex on a public beach on July 20, 2014, after only 15 minutes of deliberation.
Video footage played in the courtroom during the 1- 1/2-day-long trial showed Alvarez moving on top of Caballero in a sexual manner in broad daylight.
Both Caballero and Alvarez will now have to register as sex offenders.
A sentencing date was not announced, but Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca said they will pursue a harsher sentence for Caballero than Alvarez, since Alvarez has no prior record and Caballero has been to prison for almost eight years for a cocaine trafficking conviction.
The state will ask for jail time for Alvarez and prison time for Caballero. Dafonseca said due to Caballero being out of prison less than three years before committing another felony, he’s looking at serving the maximum time of 15 years.
“We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn’t something they wanted to accept responsibility for,” Dafonseca said. “Despite the video, despite all the witnesses.”
Ronald Kurpiers, defense attorney for the couple, said his clients were “devastated,” by the verdict. Though Dafonseca hinted that they’d be speaking with the judge about whether or not 15 years was appropriate for Caballero, Kurpiers said the judge would have no discretion.
Kurpiers said since the witnesses had not seen genitals or penetration, and neither was visible in the video, either, that saying the two had sex was speculation.
“You folks cannot speculate,” Kurpiers told the jury. “And in order to say they had intercourse, you would have to speculate.”
Like sincerely will the verdict passed on this sex offenders be fair?