Bradenton couple found guilty of having sex on the beach in front of child
It took a jury only 15 minutes to convict 39-year-old Ben Caballero 20-year-old and Elissa Alvarez.
“You could definitely tell that there was a moment where they wanted to reflect back to that plea offer we originally made,” Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca said.
Early on, Dafonseca said he offered Alvarez a lesser charge (possibly a misdemeanor), no designation as a sex offender and probation in exchange for cooperation and a recorded statement about what actually happened.
Because of Caballero’s felony conviction of trafficking cocaine – which he served about eight years for – Dafonseca said they offered him a lesser charge, 2.5 years in prison and no sex offender status (just probation).
Both declined last week when it was offered again, Dafonseca said.
“They took it on. They felt confident in their right. They are more than welcome to exercise their right, but the jury, it took them 15 minutes so clearly they saw it just like we did,” he said.
Since Alvarez does not have a criminal history, the State Attorney will push for 60 days in jail, and she’ll have to register as a sex offender.
Caballero will also have to register as a sex offender, but the details of his prison sentence are unclear.
“I will say that it’s not going to be less than the three year offer we made pretrial,” Dafonseca said. “There will certainly be prison involved due to his actions and him offending again so quickly coming out of prison.”
Defense Attorney Jeff Brown called the possibility of 15 years, even three years, outrageous and ridiculous.
“There are burglary cases, there are breaking and entering cases, there’s grand theft of automobiles, there’s sales and possessions of cocaine, all of these offenses can sometimes get you a sentence that’s not involving prison time,” Brown said.
He thinks probation and misdemeanor charges would have been appropriate.
“The idea that they’re looking at prison time for this is like, I’d hate to be one of them in prison and when people say, ‘hey what are you in for, and they say having sex,” Brown said.
A sentencing date has not been set.