Carissa Rangel was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious conduct, lewd and lascivious molestation, and violation of probation. A judge set her bail bond on the lewd or lascivious battery charges at $25,000, but denied her bond on the probation violation. Rangel was also ordered not to contact the 13-year-old. No word yet on whether or not she has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to a police affidavit, the alleged victim, a 13 year old boy, told authorities that he and Rangel went outside his family’s apartment, where she kissed and fondled him, exposed herself and urinated on the ground. They then went inside, where Rangel told the boy to lock the door to his bedroom before the two engaged in unprotected sex.
The mother of the teen said she heard moans coming from his bedroom at about 1:15 a.m. and that when she checked on her son, she caught the two having sex in his room. She also says that when she caught Rangel, Rangel told her that she was “getting it done right.”
The mother kicked Rangel out of her home and immediately notified authorities.
The teen told police that he had had unprotected sex twice before with Rangel in the City of Hobe Sound. While Rangel is not a stranger to the victim’s family, her relationship with the family is unknown.
While lewd or lascivious battery cases between women and teenage boys are uncommon, they are prosecuted just the same as cases where a grown man is the alleged offender.
Contrary to most people’s misconception, the “victim’s” consent and willful participation in the sex act is not a defense to lewd or lascivious battery. In fact, that is main difference between sexual battery (aka “rape”) and lewd or lascivious battery.
Unlike lewd or lascivious battery, sexual battery is a sex act that involves force against one person’s will. In cases that involve victims under 12 years of age, sexual battery charges are filed because 12 years is the minimum age a person is considered to be capable of giving consent under Florida law.
Regardless, defenses to sexual battery charges usually include challenging the claim that the sex act was non-consensual. Unlike stranger-on-stranger cases, it is not uncommon to encounter cases where both parties were having consensual sex when one decided to stop because they felt guilty, were drunk and experiencing mood swings, or where one party went further than the other wanted.
The area of consent can become very murky, very quickly in some cases. In others, it is absolutely clear that the victim did not consent, especially when the parties do not know each other.
If I was Carissa Rangel’s criminal defense lawyer, my first goal would be to have her evaluated by a forensic psychologist. Since these cases can be very hard to win at trial, it is imperative for her defense team to start building up the mitigation side of her defense as soon as possible.
When a traditional defense predicated on challenging the prosecution’s case is not realistic, the only other option is to seek a mitigated sentence. Putting together an accurate psychological profile and establishing the need for treatment in the individual is the first step in that process.