Jose Caballero and Elissa Alvarez are now convicted public sex-havers. On Monday, 40-year-old Caballero and 20-year-old Alvarez were found guilty of lewd and lascivious behavior for some over-the-top grinding that turned into fucking on July 20 of last year in Bradenton Beach, Florida.
The question isn't whether they're going to have the book thrown at them, but how hard. A three-year-old girl watched the couple, according to witnesses. The maximum prison sentence is 15 years, and the couple will have to register as sex offenders.
The sexy incident was brazen, taking place in front of multiple beach-goers. In the video above Alvarez is on top, grinding away on Caballero. The scene was recorded by an anonymous grandma, according to the local Fox TV News affiliate.
The lovers refused to take a plea deal, according to prosecutors. "We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn't something they wanted to accept responsibility for," Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca told the Miami Herald, adding that they declined to give up "despite the video," and "despite all the witnesses."
When asked if the maximum 15-year sentence was looking likely, the defense attorney for Mr. Caballero told the Herald the judge would have no discretion and, "That's what he'll get."
Related: For more beach stuff, check out School of Surf.
But does having sex in public—no matter how shamelessly—really warrant a potential 15-year prison sentence? Isn't getting sand all up in your junk punishment enough?
"The prosecution here was more zealous than in the vast majority of rape cases, suggesting that law enforcement is more worried about people being offended than people being assaulted," Dr. Mary Anne Franks, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, told VICE.
Such witnesses would likely have needed a telephoto lens to determine if bathing suits had been bunched to the side so that actual penetration could occur, and the defense claimed Alvarez was just doing a little dance on Cabellero's lap, but apparently that didn't trouble the consciences of the jury. They convicted Caballero and Alvarez after deliberating for just 15 minutes.
"It's difficult to see what purpose is served by sending people to jail for adult, consensual sexual conduct," Franks added, suggesting that "a fine plus some sort of court-ordered therapy and/or community service" ought to suffice.
Franks found the idea of the couple registering as sex offenders "even more disturbing," explaining that the measure should be "restricted to people who have engaged in actual sexual abuse."
According to the local CBS news affiliate, Caballero's prior drug conviction is expected to impact his sentencing, while Alvarez isn't expected to receive the maximum sentence.
It bears mentioning at this point that this case centers on a straight couple, while getting busted for gay sex that's not even remotely public has remained a glaring problem in Florida in recent years, and certainly hasn't gone away internationally.
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