Ronald Anthony Spradlin of Davie, Florida was arrested on Friday for allegedly committing sexual battery on a minor. Spradlin, 51, faces one charge of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He is being held at Broward Sheriff’s Office main jail. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of a lawyer.
According to the arrest report, a woman and her sons, aged 17 and 13, were camping at KOA Campground at 3800 SW 142 Avenue for a few days. The campsite flooded on the second night of their stay, forcing them to move to the campground’s recreation center.
The mother had reportedly become friends with Spradlin, who does construction work at the campsite, earlier in the week. He told her that her family could stay in his RV for a few days if they needed a place to sleep. Neither the mother’s name nor the minors’ names have been released due to the nature of the crime.
The victim told investigators that he and his brother shared a bed with Spradlin on the first night, while his mother and two others slept in the RV’s living area. The teen said he woke up a few times to find the older man staring at him. Reports do not indicate that any illegal activity took place during these interactions.
On the second night while his mother went to a store, the victim went to sleep in Spradlin’s room alone. He reportedly woke up to find Spradlin kissing and tickling his back. He said the older man told him to lay on his back so he could perform oral sex on him. Spradlin then moved his hand inside the teen’s underwear and touched him inappropriately, the arrest report said.
“I got up out of the bed and went outside the RV and texted my mom to please get here now I’m about to call the cops, Anthony sexually assaulted me,” the victim reportedly told police.
Spradlin denied the allegation, saying he may have touched the victim’s back during a soccer game, but he had never touched him in an inappropriate manner. Investigators believe Spradlin’s did intentionally touch the victim based on the teen’s statement, and that led to his arrest on Friday.
Sexual battery is a very serious offense and its penalties can be severe. The charge carries tremendous social stigma and may require the defendant to become registered as a sexual offender.
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a second-degree felony. If convicted, the defendant may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of sex offender probation, and up to $10,000 in fines. The defendant would also be declared a sex offender and would have to comply with sexual offender registration laws in the state and throughout the U.S. for the rest of their lives.
Defenses for unlawful sexual activity with a minor include ignorance of the victim’s age, false allegations, and young adult exception, which occurs when the sexual activity took place when the victim is 16 or 17 and the offender is between 16 and 23.