A Florida couple is facing 15 years in prison after they were found guilty of having sex on a Florida beach in broad daylight. The pair, 40-year-old Jose Caballero and 20-year-old Elissa Alvarez, were each found guilty of two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior after the sexual act was committed on Bradenton Beach. Both Elissa and Jose now face up to 15 years in prison and will be registered as sex offenders for the remainder of their lives.
The Bradenton Herald reports that on July 20, 2014, the couple engaged in a sexual act on the public Bradenton Beach in broad daylight just feet away from other tourists. During the trial, a video was shown of the couple engaging in the act, which was captured by another tourist. According to a witness, the couple was having sex on the public beach during the day as children walked nearby. In fact, it was noted that one 3-year-old child saw the act while playing on the beach.
After watching the video and hearing testimony, it took the jury just 15 minutes to find the couple guilty of both counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. However, Elissa maintains that she was not having sex with her boyfriend, but was simply dancing on his lap trying to wake him up. The Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca notes that there was no question what the couple was doing after watching the video and that it won't be tolerated as tourism is vital for the area.
"We're dealing with basically tourists, that came from Brandon and Riverview and West Virginia, and they're here on the beaches of Manatee County, our public beaches. So you want to make sure that this isn't something that just goes by the wayside. And that it is well known to the community what will be tolerated and what won't be."Elissa's father, Carlos Alvarez, says that his daughter has always been a good girl but that she was in love and made a mistake.
"She's an 18-year-old woman with a 40-year-old man. I always say women can be better than men... but they fall in love and they make a lot of mistakes."Jose's mother was also at the trial and noted that though what her son was accused of was illegal, there are "worse things" happening that should be addressed instead of this.
The Assistant State Attorney says they will take into consideration that Elissa has no previous criminal history. However, he says they will be seeking a harsher sentence for Jose, as he has a criminal past.
What do you think a fair sentence would be for having sex on the beach? Is jail time necessary since both were consenting adults? What about the pair being registered sex offenders for the remainder of their life?