If you are the parent of a teenager, you might feel a strong temptation to behave in ways that encourage them to see you as “cool.” Maybe that means going easy on their curfew. Or letting them know you’re okay with them drinking as long as they’re safe. Or allowing them to throw parties at your house.Well, one Bradenton woman took this last one to a whole new level recently, and now she faces multiple sex crime charges. What happened?Jaimie Ayer, 40, was present at a party hosted by her underage child on December 23. Students from local high schools were invited and allowed to drink alcohol that Ayer provided. Her misbehavior did not stop there, though. Shockingly, Ayer allegedly asked multiple minors to have sex, including three different 16-year-old boys.After the party, police received information about what Ayer had allegedly done. When they arrived at her home on January 18, she was very intoxicated.Initially, police charged her on three counts of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors and set her bail at $22,500. As the investigation continued, however, four more charges were added and her bail was increased to $52,500. Additional charges may still come, including charges for furnishing alcohol to minors.
What Are Unlawful Sexual Activity Charges?
Whether or not the sex was consensual, Ayer still engaged in sexual contact with minors. Any adult over the age of 24 who has sex with a minor who is 16 or 17 can be charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. This charge is a second degree felony. Penalties may include up to 15 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.That’s right – 15 years in jail! That’s just for one charge. Ayer has seven of these charges against her.So what exactly is unlawful sexual activity with certain minors? It’s a very specific charge that applies to victims of a particular age. If the high school boys had been a year or two younger, the recommended penalties would be even harsher. Penalties for related unlawful sexual activity charges include:
- If the victim was between the ages of 13-15 and engaged in sexual penetration with an adult defendant: between 7 ½ months and 15 years in prison
- If the victim was under the age of 12 and engaged in sexual touching, even over clothing, or other sexual acts with an adult defendant: at least 25 years in prison, up to life
- If the victim was between the ages of 13-15 and engaged in sexual touching with an adult defendant: between 51 months-15 years in prison
- If the victim was younger than 16 and engaged in sexual touching or acts with a defendant up to the age of 17: between 3-15 years in prison
Additional charges may be added if the minor was a prostitute, or if they were impregnated by the defendant.
Is Not Knowing the Age of the Victim a Defense?
As you can tell, the age of the victim can make a huge difference in Florida’s sentencing guidelines. In addition to jail time and fines, those convicted of unlawful sexual activity crimes could have to register on Florida’s sex offender registry.So how do you get out of a conviction, or get your charges dropped?Many defendants tell judges that they were unaware of the victim’s age: they looked older, the victim lied to the defendant, and so on. Unfortunately, this defense usually doesn’t fly in court. Neither does consent. Minors legally cannot consent, so whether or not the minor wanted to have sex is irrelevant.However, there are ways to defend against sex crime charges and avoid having to register on the sex offender registry for decades after your sentence is over. Contact a Florida sex crimes lawyer immediately if you have been charged to start building your defense strategy.About the Author:Attorney David W. Olson is the founder of the Law Offices of David W. Olson in West Palm Beach. He has been practicing criminal law and successfully representing clients throughout the State of Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Olson has been honored numerous times for both his dedication and excellence in criminal law. He proudly holds the Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, as well as being recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013), in the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys (2015), and as a 10 Best Member of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys (2015). He has even received commendations from members of congress and other public officials for the fantastic work that he's done. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1981 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983.