Carl Dolan and Brian Fuller, both 39, were arrested in Port Saint Lucie, Florida early Monday morning. Both are accused of committing an unlawful sex act on a 17 year old boy. Both men were also booked with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
These charges are very serious and both men are facing serious prison time. For that reason, both need to retain defense lawyers who have experience with defending and prosecuting sex offenses.
The men are accused of taking the boy on three trips to Orlando. During one trip, the boy was allegedly given three rum drinks and Fuller is said to have performed a sex act on the boy. The nature of the act has not been specified in news media.
Two to three weeks later, it is also alleged that the boy was at the men’s home drinking rum drinks when the two men engaged in a sex act with the boy for approximately five minutes. Dolan was also accused of touching the boy inappropriately on other occasions.
According to new reports, police booked the men under a sexual battery charge that alleges a familial or custodial relationship. This allegation is important because it serves to enhance the charge. In fact, this charge is usually reserved for parents, family members, school teachers, or other caretakers.
However, in this case, it seems as though the charge may be inappropriate. While the nature of the boy’s relationship to the men is unknown, news reports did not mention any familial relationship. At the same time, it is unclear why the boy would be traveling with these men to Orlando.
Dolan and Fuller’s defense lawyers will need to answer these and other questions before a strategy may be devised.
I think any legal analysis of this case needs to consider the fact that the boy was 17 years old. Whether he is 17 now, but was younger at the time of the offenses is yet to be seen. Additionally, when it comes to legal analysis, we will need to know the nature of the alleged sex acts. Did they involve penetration? Did the victim consent to the acts?
Cases that concern penetration are always more severe, for obvious reasons. While consent is not a defense to many sex crimes, it certainly would be a mitigating factor for a judge to consider if sentencing were to become an issue.
Like any other victim crime, the detailed allegations of the victim must be analyzed. For instance, how did these allegations come to light? What was the boy’s role, after all he was almost an adult? This does not in any way justify any wrongdoing, but at the same time, we are not dealing with a child under 12.
Does the boy have any credibility issues? Is money a factor? Are there any inconsistencies in his version of events?
Also, between the two men, which one is more culpable? Did they act in concert? Was one person the principal and the other a mere accessory?
In any event, a full legal analysis is required before any conclusions may be drawn. There is no doubt that Dolan and Fuller’s defense team have their work cut out for them.