On Monday, the man convicted of having sex on a Florida beach was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Jose Caballero and Elissa Alvarez were convicted in May of two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior after they were charged with having sex on a public beach in Bradenton, Florida, in front of several families. An onlooker videotaped them, and witnesses testified that a 3-year-old girl saw the whole thing.
Caballero maintained that he and Alvarez did not have sex, and that witnesses saw Alvarez dancing on top of Caballero and misinterpreted it; however, a graphic video of Alvarez on top of Caballero, appearing to have sex during the middle of the day, was apparently more convincing. Witnesses reportedly gave graphic testimony that corroborated the video.
While the judge only sentenced 21-year-old Alvarez to time served, 40-year-old Caballero did not get off so easily. Since he previously served eight years in prison for cocaine trafficking, he faced up to a 15-year sentence.
Both Alvarez and Caballero will now have to register as sex offenders, reports CTV News.
Prosecutors previously offered the two defendants a plea deal, where they would serve time in prison but would not have to register as sex offenders. Caballero was originally offered the two-and-a-half year prison sentence, but both elected to fight it and ultimately got a similar sentence with the sex offender requirement tacked on.
"He was very unfairly trialed, actually,” Caballero's mother told Fox 13 as she left the courthouse. “He's not guilty. They never did [have sex]. That's why they took it to trial."
Ron Kurpiers, Caballero’s attorney, told Fox 13 that Caballero plans to appeal the verdict.
"I think the lewd and lascivious statute is applicable to somebody that has done much more than he did and I don't believe that his sex offender designation is applicable to what he's charged with, what he's convicted of," Kurpiers said.
Alvarez filed an appeal to her case in June.
Prosecutors said that the outcome of this case sets an important precedent to let the community know that such acts would not be tolerated on public beaches.