Couple Faces 15 Years in Prison for Consensual Beach Sex

A man and woman accused of having sex on a public beach face up to 15 years in prison. Although Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, claimed they were not having sex, they were found guilty of lewd and lascivious behavior, reports the Bradenton Herald. 

Both face maximum prison sentences of 15 years, and prosecutors have signaled they plan to pursue a harsh sentence for Caballero. The Herald reports:

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The state will ask for jail time for Alvarez and prison time for Caballero. Dafonseca said Caballero is looking at serving the maximum time of 15 years after being out of prison less than three years before committing another felony.

"We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn't something they wanted to accept responsibility for," Dafonseca said. "Despite the video, despite all the witnesses."

Defense attorney Ronald Kurpiers said his clients were "devastated," by the verdict.

Though Dafonseca hinted they'd speak with the judge about whether 15 years was an appropriate sentence for Caballero, Kurpiers said the judge would have no discretion.

"That's what he'll get," Kurpiers said.

As the story spread today, commentators wondered why the couple is facing tougher penalties than those who commit violent crimes. They'll also have to register as sex offenders, according to the Herald. 

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