Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Rough Sex Cases


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Good evening and welcome back to this special series on sex offenses as part of Florida Criminal Law TV. I am your host Stephen G. Cobb, Attorney at Law. Now, as we are going through this series, I am using real-life examples of actual cases and how we defend them at trial. In this particular case, somebody was smart enough to call me early. What do I mean? A lot of times when people are being investigated for sex offense cases, they think to themselves, “Gosh, I am not guilty and I called this lawyer and it’s tens of thousands of dollars to defend myself, so I will do it myself”. That is called “How to get arrested, not have a bond, lose your case and be designated a sex offender for the rest of your life after you get out of prison and there is nothing you can do about it because you tried to handle it on your own”. This is far more common than you could imagine. This young military service member was smart enough not to do that, and here is the backstory of what happened to John Doe.

John Doe meets this beautiful woman, we will call her Jane Smith. And he and Jane Smith have an incredible connection. He is still seeing other people, she is still seeing other people in the beginning but then drops it off as she wants to become more serious and they are exploring their sexuality. How are they exploring their sexuality? Well, in their particular case, they enjoyed bondage, submission, domination and masochism (BDSM). So, they would do things like he would tie her up, he would spank her rather sharply on the rear-end, she liked to be spanked on her breast, she liked to have her face slapped. In other words, she was getting into rough sex and it was thrilling for him and it was thrilling for her and sure enough, one day as they were playing, his finger missed the cheek part and caught her right below the eye and as a result, it blackened this area in here.

Now, I do not know if you have ever had a facial injury there, I hope not. I have and so have many other people and all of this would tell you that if you get a bruise up in this area on either eye, it is very easy to get a bruise, and secondly, they stay there for a while. So, this couple continued to see each other after this tie-up, slap in the face event and sure enough afterwards, they were cooking together and laughing about it and one of the roommates was there. This guy had a couple of roommates who knew her, knew him, knew they were seeing each other, knew that he was seeing other people, they did not know what she was doing, I have found that out later. And sure enough, they were laughing and joking about the bruise with one of the roommates. As time goes on, she becomes increasingly jealous and she had also seen her mother. And when she saw her mother, her mother took one look at the bruise on the eye and you can figure out what happened. I mean you think about it. How many times has consensual sexual activity resulted in a false allegation when someone, usually female but not always, will talk to her friends, talk to family members, maybe it was drunken consent, both parties are drunk, they have consensual sex and the next day, her friends say, “Girl, you were raped”, she was not raped at all. And in this particular case, mom said, “What happened”, and made her tell the whole story and by the way, she also had a depressive illness. This does not mean automatically that people with depression are going to be guilty of crimes but I do think it affected her because the next thing you know, she is talking to mom and there is an investigation and he gets called by an investigator to give his side of the story.

Well, what he did was instead of giving a story, he was smart enough to call me and I said: “Not at all”. So, the first thing I did was we prepared a Notice of Demand to Notify Counsel and Notice of Invocation of Rights. What the heck is that? It basically says, “Under the advice of counsel, I am not answering any questions unless my lawyer is there”. And based on case law, you might want to look at SHOOK v. STATE because, in the first judicial circuit, it was actually a carjacking case I handled my years ago. It was very clear that when the defendant said, “Get me an attorney right now”, he was unequivocally invoking his rights. That is in the case law of Florida, a case I actually handled. Well, it has been that way for a long time, that is why we won on appeal.

And likewise, that is why in this case, we had written documentation with his signature on it, he kept a copy, I contacted the law enforcement investigator immediately, made sure he got a copy and then, I actually did the investigator’s work for him and found three different witnesses who would testify to different aspects of “Yes, they had consensual sex”, “Yes, I saw her with a bruise”, “Yes, they were laughing about it while cooking in the kitchen” and then they broke up. Sure enough, we were able to kill a warrant before it became a sexual battery case. And unlike the last one that I told you about where somebody had the financial interest, it was pretty apparent that this was not a financial interest case at all. It was, “Let’s please mom” and it was also, “He did not treat me right because he was dating other women and now I am getting back”. Believe it or not, people will do these things.

Now, we all want to believe, and in fact, sexual abuse investigators in the medical profession, like the counties in Florida, we have 67, whatever doctor does the medical exams for sex offense cases because there is almost always a medical exam if it is recent, they are going to tell you that they believe the accuser because they are trained to believe the accuser not to be skeptical, which from a legal perspective makes no sense whatsoever, the theory being, “Well, if we do not believe the accuser, we are victimizing him twice”. But hey, it is okay to victimize somebody who is falsely accused like this young military member was.

Now, you also have to remember, I could tell you tons of stories about false domestic violence cases and false sexual abuse allegations involving military members. Why? A combination of payback and financial interest. But that is beyond the scope of this particular video where we have covered a different defense altogether. A combination of payback and social pressure. Believe it or not, social pressure results in false accusations. And if you or someone you love has been accused of the sex offense that does not quite fit this category, feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

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Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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