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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 827
ABUSE OF CHILDREN
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CHAPTER 827
CHAPTER 827
ABUSE OF CHILDREN
827.01 Definitions.
827.03 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.
827.035 Newborn infants.
827.04 Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child; penalty.
827.06 Nonsupport of dependents.
827.071 Sexual performance by a child; penalties.
827.08 Misuse of child support money.
827.10 Unlawful desertion of a child.
827.01 Definitions.As used in this chapter:
(1) “Caregiver” means a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.
(2) “Child” means any person under the age of 18 years.
(3) “Placement” means the giving or transferring of possession or custody of a child by any person to another person for adoption or with the intent or purpose of surrendering the control of the child.
History.s. 48, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 7, ch. 96-322.
827.03 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Aggravated child abuse” occurs when a person:
1. Commits aggravated battery on a child;
2. Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or
3. Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.
(b) “Child abuse” means:
1. Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;
2. An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
3. Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.
(c) “Maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury.
(d) “Mental injury” means injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function within the normal range of performance and behavior as supported by expert testimony.
(e) “Neglect of a child” means:
1. A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or
2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.

(2) OFFENSES.
(a) A person who commits aggravated child abuse commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(d) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) EXPERT TESTIMONY.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a physician may not provide expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case unless the physician is a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or has obtained certification as an expert witness pursuant to s. 458.3175.
(b) A physician may not provide expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case regarding mental injury unless the physician is a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 who has completed an accredited residency in psychiatry or has obtained certification as an expert witness pursuant to s. 458.3175.
(c) A psychologist may not give expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case regarding mental injury unless the psychologist is licensed under chapter 490.
(d) The expert testimony requirements of this subsection apply only to criminal child abuse cases and not to family court or dependency court cases.
History.s. 1, ch. 4721, 1899; s. 1, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3236, 3238; RGS 5069, 5071; s. 1, ch. 9331, 1923; CGL 7171, 7173; s. 1, ch. 65-113; s. 1, ch. 70-8; s. 940, ch. 71-136; s. 49, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1, ch. 84-238; s. 8, ch. 96-322; s. 16, ch. 99-168; s. 1, ch. 2003-130; s. 9, ch. 2012-155.
Note.Former s. 828.04.
827.035 Newborn infants.It shall not constitute neglect of a child pursuant to s. 827.03 or contributing to the dependency of a child pursuant to s. 827.04, if a parent leaves a newborn infant at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station or brings a newborn infant to an emergency room and expresses an intent to leave the infant and not return, in compliance with s. 383.50.
History.s. 8, ch. 2000-188; s. 24, ch. 2001-53.
827.04 Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child; penalty.
(1) Any person who:
(a) Commits any act which causes, tends to cause, encourages, or contributes to a child becoming a delinquent or dependent child or a child in need of services; or
(b) Induces or endeavors to induce, by act, threat, command, or persuasion, a child to commit or perform any act, follow any course of conduct, or live in a manner that causes or tends to cause such child to become or to remain a dependent or delinquent child or a child in need of services,

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) It is not necessary for any court exercising juvenile jurisdiction to make an adjudication that any child is delinquent or dependent or a child in need of services in order to prosecute a violation of this section. An adjudication that a child is delinquent or dependent or a child in need of services shall not preclude a subsequent prosecution of a violation of this section.
(3) A person 21 years of age or older who impregnates a child under 16 years of age commits an act of child abuse which constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. A person who impregnates a child in violation of this subsection commits an offense under this subsection regardless of whether the person is found to have committed, or has been charged with or prosecuted for, any other offense committed during the course of the same criminal transaction or episode, including, but not limited to, an offense proscribed under s. 800.04, relating to lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon any person under 16 years of age. Neither the victim’s lack of chastity nor the victim’s consent is a defense to the crime proscribed under this subsection.
History.s. 50, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1, ch. 77-73; s. 1, ch. 77-429; s. 4, ch. 88-151; s. 8, ch. 90-53; s. 2, ch. 96-215; s. 10, ch. 96-322.
827.06 Nonsupport of dependents.
(1) The Legislature finds that most parents want to support their children and remain connected to their families. The Legislature also finds that while many parents lack the financial resources and other skills necessary to provide that support, some parents willfully fail to provide support to their children even when they are aware of the obligation and have the ability to do so. The Legislature further finds that existing statutory provisions for civil enforcement of support have not proven sufficiently effective or efficient in gaining adequate support for all children. Recognizing that it is the public policy of this state that children shall be maintained primarily from the resources of their parents, thereby relieving, at least in part, the burden presently borne by the general citizenry through public assistance programs, it is the intent of the Legislature that the criminal penalties provided for in this section are to be pursued in all appropriate cases where civil enforcement has not resulted in payment.
(2) Any person who willfully fails to provide support which he or she has the ability to provide to a child or a spouse whom the person knows he or she is legally obligated to support commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of subsection (2) or who violates subsection (2) and who has owed to that child or spouse for more than 1 year support in an amount equal to or greater than $5,000 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) Upon a conviction under this section, the court shall order restitution in an amount equal to the total unpaid support obligation as it exists at the time of sentencing.
(5)(a) Evidence that the defendant willfully failed to make sufficient good faith efforts to legally acquire the resources to pay legally ordered support may be sufficient to prove that he or she had the ability to provide support but willfully failed to do so, in violation of this section.
1(b) The element of knowledge may be proven by evidence that a court or tribunal as defined by s. 88.1011(22) has entered an order that obligates the defendant to provide the support.
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature for the state attorneys, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the Department of Revenue to work collaboratively to identify strategies that allow the criminal penalties provided for in this section to be pursued in all appropriate cases, including, but not limited to, strategies that would assist the state attorneys in obtaining additional resources from available federal Title IV-D funds to initiate prosecution pursuant to this section.
History.s. 52, ch. 74-383; s. 31, ch. 75-298; s. 200, ch. 91-224; s. 1282, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2001-51; s. 14, ch. 2002-173; s. 41, ch. 2005-39; s. 153, ch. 2007-5; s. 38, ch. 2008-61; s. 77, ch. 2011-92.
1Note.Section 81, ch. 2011-92, provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect upon the earlier of 90 days following Congress amending 42 U.S.C. s. 666(f) to allow or require states to adopt the 2008 version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or 90 days following the state obtaining a waiver of its state plan requirement under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.” Section 77, ch. 2011-92, amended paragraph (5)(b), to read:

(b) The element of knowledge may be proven by evidence that a court or tribunal as defined by s. 88.1011 has entered an order that obligates the defendant to provide the support.

827.071 Sexual performance by a child; penalties.
(1) As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Deviate sexual intercourse” means sexual conduct between persons not married to each other consisting of contact between the penis and the anus, the mouth and the penis, or the mouth and the vulva.
(b) “Intentionally view” means to deliberately, purposefully, and voluntarily view. Proof of intentional viewing requires establishing more than a single image, motion picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation, or other presentation over any period of time.
(c) “Performance” means any play, motion picture, photograph, or dance or any other visual representation exhibited before an audience.
(d) “Promote” means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise or to offer or agree to do the same.
(e) “Sadomasochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person, or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained, for the purpose of deriving sexual satisfaction from inflicting harm on another or receiving such harm oneself.
(f) “Sexual battery” means 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; however, “sexual battery” does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.
(g) “Sexual bestiality” means any sexual act between a person and an animal involving the sex organ of the one and the mouth, anus, or vagina of the other.
(h) “Sexual conduct” means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed. A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute “sexual conduct.”
(i) “Sexual performance” means any performance or part thereof which includes sexual conduct by a child of less than 18 years of age.
(j) “Simulated” means the explicit depiction of conduct set forth in paragraph (h) which creates the appearance of such conduct and which exhibits any uncovered portion of the breasts, genitals, or buttocks.
(2) A person is guilty of the use of a child in a sexual performance if, knowing the character and content thereof, he or she employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) A person is guilty of promoting a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he or she produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to possess with the intent to promote any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, includes any sexual conduct by a child. The possession of three or more copies of such photograph, motion picture, representation, or presentation is prima facie evidence of an intent to promote. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5)(a) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child. The possession, control, or intentional viewing of each such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation, or presentation is a separate offense. If such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation includes sexual conduct by more than one child, then each such child in each such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation that is knowingly possessed, controlled, or intentionally viewed is a separate offense. A person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) This subsection does not apply to material possessed, controlled, or intentionally viewed as part of a law enforcement investigation.
(6) Prosecution of any person for an offense under this section shall not prohibit prosecution of that person in this state for a violation of any law of this state, including a law providing for greater penalties than prescribed in this section or any other crime punishing the sexual performance or the sexual exploitation of children.
History.s. 4, ch. 83-75; s. 1, ch. 85-273; s. 1, ch. 86-38; s. 1, ch. 91-33; s. 1, ch. 92-83; s. 1283, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2001-54; s. 4, ch. 2007-143; s. 15, ch. 2011-220; s. 3, ch. 2012-19.
827.08 Misuse of child support money.Any person who willfully misapplies funds paid by another or by any governmental agency for the purpose of support of a child shall, for the first offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and for a second or subsequent conviction under this section, be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. A person shall be deemed to have misapplied child support funds when such funds are spent for any purpose other than for necessary and proper home, food, clothing, and the necessities of life, which expenditure results in depriving the child of the above named necessities. All public welfare agencies shall give notice of the provisions of this section at least once to each payee of any public grant made for the benefit of any child and shall report violations of this section to the proper prosecuting officer.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-216; s. 956, ch. 71-136; s. 65, ch. 74-383.
Note.Former s. 828.201.
827.10 Unlawful desertion of a child.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Care” means support and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child.
(b) “Caregiver” has the same meaning as provided in s. 39.01.
(c) “Child” means a child for whose care the caregiver is legally responsible.
(d) “Desertion” or “deserts” means to leave a child in a place or with a person other than a relative with the intent not to return to the child and with the intent not to provide for the care of the child.
(e) “Relative” has the same meaning as provided in s. 39.01.
(2) A caregiver who deserts a child under circumstances in which the caregiver knew or should have known that the desertion exposes the child to unreasonable risk of harm commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) This section does not apply to a person who surrenders a newborn infant in compliance with s. 383.50.
(4) This section does not preclude prosecution for a criminal act under any other law, including, but not limited to, prosecution of child abuse or neglect of a child under s. 827.03.
History.s. 41, ch. 2014-224.