Dr. Brian Lee, an Escambia, Florida family physician, has been arrested for employing a two-way device to expedite the commission of a felony and for traveling to meet a juvenile for sex.
Lee’s arrest followed a long investigation into his online life and persona. According to the local sheriff’s office, the county computer crimes unit discovered the suspect online as he attempted to solicit erotic favors from young men. A police officer posed as a 14-year-old boy and responded. Over the course of several emails, the suspect began asking the “boy” to meet with him for sex. A meet-up was arranged at a named location in Escambia, and when the suspect arrived, he was taken into custody. Police were unwilling to let the investigation linger, as Lee had allegedly made references to some of his very young patients during the exchanges.
Members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, launched to protect children against online predators, were present at the arrest. FBI agents, Pensacola detectives, Sheriff’s deputies and special agents attached to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested and identified the suspect as family physician Brian Lee, the owner and operator of Perdido Bay Family Care. He was given no bond.
Upon further investigation, law enforcement uncovered evidence that Lee may have engaged in similar conduct with other young boys. They have put out a call to the general public asking for anyone who may have been involved with the physician to contact them.
In Florida, Statute 847.0135(4) states that any individual who travels any distance with the intention of engaging in illegal acts laid out in Chapter 794, 800 or 827 Florida Statutes — such as unlawful sexual conduct with a child or sex with another person “believed” to be a child — is guilty of a second-degree felony. These statutes apply even if the suspect was lured into a meeting through an electronic service.
Solicitation charges may also be filed against a parent, guardian or custodian who allows a child to participate in the sexual activities enumerated in the above statutes.
A number of defenses may be applicable for those facing such serious charges. A criminal defense lawyer should immediately acquire a complete record of any chat logs used as evidence against an alleged child predator.
The log may reveal illegal procedures, including entrapment and inadequately supported search warrants. The alleged offender’s intent and extenuating circumstances must also be taken into account. The testimony of a computer expert, if warranted, may also be of use in a defense.
No matter the charges, every person has the right to an attorney’s criminal defense. Not every individual who is arrested and/or charged is guilty of a crime. Never judge alleged offenders by their charges.
Thomas C .Grajek is a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, Lakeland, and Polk County Florida. To contact a Lakeland criminal defense attorney or to learn more, visit http://www.flcrimedefense.com/ or call 863-688-4606.