Jose Caballero, 40, could face the full force of the sunshine state’s draconian morality laws for reoffending within three years of serving almost eight years for cocaine trafficking. His 20-year-old girlfriend, Elissa Alvarez, is expected to face a lesser sentence for her part in the steamy beach romp.
The frisky lovers were arrested after holidaymakers – including a three-year-old girl – spotted their al fresco shagging session on Bradenton Beach. The New York Daily Times reported that one woman had dialled emergency services to report: “They think it’s a joke. It’s very disgusting. He just took her top off. There’s a child here.”
A jury took just 15 minutes to convict the couple of lewd and lascivious behaviour after video played in the courtroom showed Alvarez moving on top of Caballero in a sexual manner in broad daylight. Both will now have to register as sex offenders.
Assistant state attorney Anthony Dafonseca said the pair had previously rejected a plea bargaining offer. “We gave them a reasonable offer what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn’t something they wanted to accept responsibility for,” he explained, as quoted in the Miami Herald. “Despite the video, despite all the witnesses.”
The defence team argued that the couple weren’t actually having sex, and that Alvarez had merely been dancing on Caballero to wake him up. “She wasn’t dancing,” said Dafonseca, in his closing speech. “It’s insulting your intelligence to say that she was dancing.”
Defence lawyer Ronald Kurpier maintained that it was speculation to suggest that the couple had had sex because witnesses had not seen their private parts, or penetration, and the video evidence was also inconclusive.
Co-prosecutor Ed Brodsky said it wasn’t the crime of the century – but it was still a breach of Florida law. “Did they try to cuddle, or do it discreetly? Did they go in the water where people couldn’t see?” he asked the jury. “Did Ms Alvarez try to drape a towel over herself, or anything? They didn’t care.”