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Repercussions of sex abuse allegations not just criminal

Oftentimes on this blog, we discuss the serious criminal consequences of being convicted of sex abuse or similar crimes. There is a very real potential for a person to be sentenced to jail and be required to register as a sex offender in Florida if convicted of a sex offense. 

However, there can also be severe financial consequences if a person is convicted. He or she can be required to pay huge fines and it can be difficult for that person to secure employment with a criminal record. Additionally, that person may also face civil lawsuits filed by alleged victims. One man in Florida, for example, is facing legal action after he recently won millions of dollars in the Florida lottery.

According to reports, the man won $3 million from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Because he was paid out in a lump sum, he took home approximately $2.2 million. This influx of cash would have been great news for someone who was not a convicted sex offender.

The winner had reportedly pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a 9-year-old boy in 2001 and served a three-year sentence in prison. 

Now that same boy and his brother are part of a recently filed lawsuit that is aiming to freeze the man's winnings. The brothers, who both claim to be victims of sexual battery, are seeking a court order that would prevent the man from hiding or spending his winnings until a civil claim against the man has been resolved.

Civil actions are often filed in conjunction with or following criminal claims. These claims are typically filed so that an alleged victim can pursue financial damages from a defendant. In this case, all or a portion of the man's lottery winnings could end up going to the two boys if their claim is successful.

Whether a person is facing criminal or civil charges in Florida, legal representation can be essential. The standards of proof required for civil and criminal allegations are very different, as are the potential consequences of a conviction. But with the guidance of an experienced attorney, a person accused of a serious offense can work to minimize his or her exposure to penalties, whether they are criminal or civil.

Source: Orlando Sentinel "Timothy Poole: Alleged victims of lottery millionaire sexual predator sue to tap into winnings," Elyssa Cherney, Dec. 24, 2014

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