Eberd Cesar, 52, was arrested in Boynton Beach, Florida this Monday, after allegations arose that he had inappropriately touched a 9 year old. According to reports, Cesar admitted to touching his girlfriend’s grand-daughter while watching television.
As a result, Cesar is facing charges for Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a minor under 12 years of age. Since the victim was under 12 years of age, Cesar is facing life in prison. As such, he is not entitled to automatic bond, but instead will have to ask the courts for an Arthur Hearing.
In an Arthur Hearing, the judge will determine if the State has presented enough evidence to support a finding that proof of guilt is evident and the presumption of guilt is great. Obviously, each case is different, but if this burden is met, the judge has the discretion to set bond or deny bond.
Having litigated many Arthur Hearings in my career, I can tell you that the judge will certainly want to know if Cesar has any prior criminal history and whether or not this molestation was a one-time event or was part of an on-going problem. The judge will also consider Cesar’s ties to the community and any history for failing to appear in court.
Insofar as a defense is concerned, cases like these hinge on the victim’s description of the crime and the nature of the defendant’s “confession.” As often as child molestation unfortunately occurs, there are countless cases where a child’s statement is taken out of context or blown to inconceivable proportions. YES, that does happen.
Therefore, Cesar’s defense team will need to analyze every aspect of the victim’s statement and any findings purportedly made by detectives. Nothing should be taken for granted.
On the other hand, if Cesar made a full confession, the likelihood of conviction is very high, unless the confession was taken while Cesar was in custody and his Miranda rights were not properly and completely read to him.
Before any judgment may be passed, the confession must be reviewed to determine what statements were actually made and what the context of those statements were. In many cases, inexperienced detectives eager to build a case will over-state an alleged confession, quote statements out of context, or fail to properly advise a defendant of his or her rights.
If there are no formal defenses, then Cesar may need to build a case of mitigation. If he did this crime, there is no doubt that he suffers from a psycho-sexual disorder. Assuming the victim was not injured and the evidence suggests this was a one-time encounter, Cesar may be able to avoid a hefty prison sentence by pleading guilty and asking the courts to place him in residential sex-offender treatment.
At the end of the day, Cesar’s defense lawyers will have to review every aspect of this case to determine of any legal defenses exists and to ascertain the best course of action for his defense.