Tattoo and Texts Lead to Sexual Assault Arrest
An incriminating tattoo and text messages led to a West Palm Beach man’s arrest for sex crimes with a minor. Malcolm Spaulding III, 39, was arrested for sexual assault and obscene communications charges after his upper thigh tattoo helped the police link him to sex acts and sexually explicit photographs that were sent to a minor. If convicted, Mr. Spaulding faces years in prison for both charges.
According to the police, the acts occurred between Mr. Spaulding and a 16-year-old girl. He picked up the girl to take her to shop for a birthday gift at the local Winn Dixie. He parked in the store’s parking lot and began to kiss the girl. The two then engaged in sex acts in the vehicle, where the girl noticed the tattoo on his upper thigh.
After reporting the conduct to the police, the girl agreed to engage in a controlled phone call with Mr. Spaulding where the authorities would listen in on the call. The victim asked him about the acts and he responded that “I did enjoy it. If this is recording, put me in jail.” In addition, the police took the girl’s phone into evidence where multiple explicit text messages and pictures were discovered that were sent by Mr. Spaulding. They included pictures of him masturbating and his genitals, which included the upper thigh tattoo.
When questioned by the police, Mr. Spaulding admitted that he should not have engaged in sexual acts with the minor. After he also acknowledged the text messages sent between the two, Mr. Spaulding was arrested for sexual assault and obscene communications. He is currently booked in the Palm Beach County Jail and held on $100,000 bond.
Florida Obscene Communications
Under Florida law, it is illegal to send obscene communications over the telephone in any manner. Fla. Stat. 365.121 provides that for the purposes of the law, obscene means anything that a reasonable person would find appealing to prurient interests. This includes deviant sexual intercourse, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual battery, bestiality, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement that lacks any type of social, scientific, literary, artistic, or political value.
The same section of law provides that each individual communication is punishable by a misdemeanor in the second degree. This includes a fine up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail for each message or communication. The law states that each day that an obscene message is sent constitutes a separate offense. The Florida obscene communication law only applies to messages that are sent and received within the state, and if obscene messages cross state lines then the offense becomes federal.
Our Office Can Help
At Gary Roberts & Associates, we understand and are empathetic to our clients that have been victims of sexual assault and abuse. Call or contact our West Palm Beach office today for a private and free review of your case. You may have a claim for civil compensation in addition to the criminal charges brought against your assailant, and we are here to help.