985.701 Sexual misconduct prohibited; reporting required; penalties.—
(1)(a)1. As used in this subsection, the term:
a. “Sexual misconduct” means fondling the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts of a person; the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by or union with the sexual organ of another; or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object. The term does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose or an internal search conducted in the lawful performance of duty by an employee of the department or an employee of a provider under contract with the department.
b. “Employee” includes paid staff members, volunteers, and interns who work in a department program or a program operated by a provider under a contract.
2. An employee who engages in sexual misconduct with a juvenile offender detained or supervised by, or committed to the custody of, the department commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. An employee may be found guilty of violating this subsection without having committed the crime of sexual battery.
3. The consent of the juvenile offender to any act of sexual misconduct is not a defense to prosecution under this subsection.
4. This subsection does not apply to an employee of the department, or an employee of a provider under contract with the department, who:
a. Is legally married to a juvenile offender who is detained or supervised by, or committed to the custody of, the department.
b. Has no reason to believe that the person with whom the employee engaged in sexual misconduct is a juvenile offender detained or supervised by, or committed to the custody of, the department.
(b) Notwithstanding prosecution, any violation of this subsection, as determined by the Public Employees Relations Commission, constitutes sufficient cause under s. 110.227 for dismissal from employment with the department, and such person may not again be employed in any capacity in connection with the juvenile justice system.
(2) An employee of the department, or an employee of a provider under contract with the department, who witnesses sexual misconduct committed against a juvenile offender, or who has reasonable cause to suspect that sexual misconduct has been committed against a juvenile offender, shall immediately report the incident to the department’s incident hotline, and prepare, date, and sign an independent report that specifically describes the nature of the sexual misconduct, the location and time of the incident, and the persons involved. The employee shall deliver the report to the supervisor or program director, who is responsible for providing copies to the department’s inspector general and the circuit juvenile justice manager. The inspector general shall immediately conduct an appropriate administrative investigation, and, if there is probable cause to believe that a violation of subsection (1) has occurred, the inspector general shall notify the state attorney in the circuit in which the incident occurred.
(3)(a) Any person who is required to prepare a report under this section and who knowingly or willfully fails to do so, or who knowingly or willfully prevents another person from doing so, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Any person who knowingly or willfully submits inaccurate, incomplete, or untruthful information with respect to a report required under this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) Any person who knowingly or willfully coerces or threatens any other person with the intent to alter testimony or a written report regarding an incident of sexual misconduct commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 2, ch. 97-215; s. 47, ch. 2000-135; s. 98, ch. 2006-120.