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Lee v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

June 1, 2017

BRIAN MITCHELL LEE, Appellant/ Cross-Appellee,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee/ Cross-Appellant.

          NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

         An appeal from the Circuit Court for Escambia County. Terry D. Terrell, Judge.

          Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender, and A. Victoria Wiggins, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Heather Flanagan Ross, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

          ON MOTION FOR REHEARING EN BANC

          ROWE, J.

         We grant the State's motion for rehearing en banc, vacate our prior opinion issued on November 28, 2016, and substitute the following opinion:

         Brian Mitchell Lee challenges his convictions for (1) traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual conduct; (2) the unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate the commission of a felony; and (3) using a computer to facilitate or solicit the sexual conduct of a child. We affirm as to all issues raised by Lee, but write to address only one. He argues that the decisions in State v. Shelley, 176 So.3d 914 (Fla. 2015), and Hamilton v. State, 163 So.3d 1277 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015), compel reversal of two of his convictions on double jeopardy grounds. The State seeks review of the trial court's departure sentence in a separate appeal.[1]

         We affirm Lee's convictions for all three offenses because, unlike in Shelley and Hamilton, his multiple convictions were not based on the same conduct. Rather, Lee's convictions arose from separate criminal episodes and distinct criminal acts; thus, they do not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy. But we reverse Lee's sentences and remand for resentencing because the trial court improperly departed downward when imposing the sentences.

         I. Facts & Procedural History

         Lee placed an ad in the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist, seeking an encounter with a male "under 25" years old. An investigator presenting himself as "Matt" responded to Lee's ad after he determined the ad could be an effort to initiate contact with a minor. The investigator promptly informed Lee that "Matt" was only fourteen years old. But even after learning that "Matt" was a minor, Lee continued the communications. Over the course of the next eleven days, the two exchanged multiple emails and Lee proposed that the two engage in various sexual acts. On the twelfth day, Lee asked to meet "Matt" in person. When Lee arrived at the agreed-upon location, he was met by law enforcement and arrested. A search of his truck revealed erectile dysfunction medications.

         The State charged Lee by information with three felony offenses: traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual conduct, unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate the commission of a felony, and using a computer to facilitate or solicit the sexual conduct of a child. Lee moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that counts one and three violated double jeopardy, because the elements of solicitation were subsumed within the offense of traveling to meet a minor. He also argued that counts one and two violated double jeopardy, because the elements of using a two-way communications device were subsumed within the offense of traveling, and that both offenses occurred within a single episode. The trial court denied the motion, and the case proceeded to trial.

         Through the testimony of the investigating officer, the State introduced into evidence the entire transcript of the communications between Lee and "Matt." The testimony demonstrated that the communications occurred over the course of twelve days and involved multiple acts of solicitation.

          After the State rested, Lee admitted during his testimony that the transcript of communications introduced into evidence was accurate. He asserted that he placed the ad on Craigslist to meet adult males. He declared that he was certain that "Matt" was a police officer from the beginning, but decided to play along because he wanted to "get back" at the police for targeting homosexuals in these types of undercover operations. Dr. Julie Harper, a clinical and forensic psychologist, testified that Lee had a narcissistic and obsessive compulsive personality and that he had previously been diagnosed with depression. She described Lee, a family physician, as highly intelligent with a lot of inner pain and low self-esteem.

         The jury returned a guilty verdict on all three counts, and the case proceeded to sentencing. Lee's Criminal Punishment Code scoresheet established a minimum permissible sentence of forty-five months' imprisonment. He filed a sentencing memorandum, requesting a downward departure based on several non-statutory mitigators. At sentencing, Lee presented the testimony of two employees, four former patients, and his brother. Defense counsel argued that the trial court should downwardly depart because Lee never had sexual contact with a minor, he showed great potential for rehabilitation, he maintained a close relationship with his family, and he lacked any history of prior criminal activity. The State specifically argued that none of those factors warranted the imposition of a downward departure sentence and argued against the trial court imposing such a sentence. The State argued that Lee was a danger to the community and that the court should impose a sentence of no less than five years' imprisonment.

         Before imposing Lee's sentences, the trial court noted that Lee had virtually no prior criminal record and that it had not been proven that Lee had any inappropriate physical contact with a child. The court observed that it was uncontradicted that Lee was suffering from depression when he committed these crimes. The court also considered that countless patients continued to seek treatment from Lee during the pendency of these charges.

         The court departed downward, declining to impose a term of imprisonment, instead sentencing Lee to concurrent terms of two years' community control followed by thirteen years' probation. On the Criminal Punishment Code scoresheet, the trial court specified that the departure sentence was based on the statutory mitigator that Lee required specialized treatment for a mental disorder that was unrelated to substance abuse or addiction. The court further indicated its reliance on the non-statutory mitigators announced at the sentencing hearing. This appeal and cross-appeal follow.

         II. Analysis

         We begin our analysis with a discussion of double jeopardy principles, including: (i) which party bears the burden to demonstrate a double jeopardy violation; (ii) the three-step test to be applied to determine whether multiple convictions violate the prohibition against double jeopardy; and (iii) the factors and evidence to be considered when applying the three-step test. Next, we explain why the holdings in Shelley and Hamilton have no application to our double jeopardy analysis in this case. Then, we apply these principles to explain why Lee's multiple convictions do not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy. Finally, we explain why the trial court erred in imposing the downward departure sentence.

         A. Double Jeopardy Principles

          The Double Jeopardy Clause provides protection from three separate types of double jeopardy. "[It] protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal. It protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction. And it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense." Ohio v. Johnson, 467 U.S. 493, 498 (1984) (quoting North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 717 (1969)). Here, Lee argues that he received multiple punishments for the same offense; thus our analysis concerns this type of double jeopardy claim.

         i. Burden to Demonstrate a Double Jeopardy Violation

         The party alleging error bears the burden to demonstrate reversible error on appeal. See Stone v. Stone, 873 So.2d 628, 630 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004). And when it is a defendant appealing a trial court's ruling, "the defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that an error occurred in the trial court." Jones v. State, 923 So.2d 486, 488 (Fla. 2006) (quoting Goodwin v. State, 751 So.2d 537, 544 (Fla. 1999)). A defendant alleging a double jeopardy violation is in no different position; it remains the defendant's burden to establish that a double jeopardy violation has occurred. See Sprouse v. State, 208 So.3d 785, 787 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) ("Sprouse has not met his burden of showing his multiple convictions violate double jeopardy."); Edwards v. State, 139 So.3d 981, 983 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) ("The burden of proof was Edwards' to demonstrate error in this case."); see also Capron v. State, 948 So.2d 954, 957 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007) (observing that a defendant bears the burden of proving a double jeopardy violation). And after a jury trial, the burden to demonstrate error is especially heavy as the reviewing court must view "the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury verdict." Williams v. State, 90 So.3d 931, 933 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).

         ii. Three-Step Test for Analyzing Double Jeopardy Claims Alleging Multiple Punishments

         A court reviewing a double jeopardy claim alleging multiple punishments must apply a three-step test. State v. Paul, 934 So.2d 1167, 1172-73 (Fla. 2006). We explained how the test should be applied in Partch v. State, 43 So.3d 758, 760 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010): First, we must determine whether the convictions "were based on an act or acts which occurred within the same criminal transaction and/or episode." Id. Second, if the convictions arose from the same criminal episode, we "must then determine if the convictions were predicated on distinct acts." Id. Third, "[i]f the charges are not predicated on distinct acts and have occurred within the same criminal episode, we must next decide if the charges survive a same elements test as defined by section 775.021, Florida Statutes [(2013)], commonly referred to as the Blockburger analysis." Id. (citing to Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932)). Thus, we only reach the third step of the analysis, the so-called "same elements" test, if the first two questions are answered in the negative. See Graham v. State, 207 So.3d 135, 141 (Fla. 2016) (clarifying that the same elements test applies when a defendant is convicted under multiple statutes for a single criminal act); Tindal v. State, 145 So.3d 915, 923-34 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (engaging in same elements analysis only after concluding that the offenses occurred during the same criminal episode and that the charges were not based on distinct acts); Sanders v. State, 101 So.3d 373, 375 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) (explaining that if the charged offenses occurred in separate episodes or involved distinct acts, no further analysis is required to conclude that the offenses do not violate double jeopardy).

          iii. Factors and Evidence to Consider in Each Step

          Each of the three steps of the double jeopardy test requires application of different factors and consideration of specific types of evidence. In the first step, when determining whether the defendant's convictions arose from offenses occurring in one or more criminal episodes, the reviewing court examines "whether there are multiple victims, whether the offenses occurred in multiple locations, and whether there has been a 'temporal break' between offenses." Paul, 934 So.2d at 1173 (quoting Murray v. State, 890 So.2d 451, 453 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004)). The existence of a separation in time, place, or circumstance allows the court to ascertain "whether the defendant had time to pause, reflect, and form a new criminal intent between occurrences." Hammel v. State, 934 So.2d 634, 635 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) (quoting Eaddy v. State, 789 So.2d 1093, 1095 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001)). Minimal lapses in time can be sufficient for a defendant to form a new criminal intent between offenses. See White v. State, 924 So.2d 957, 957-58 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006); Burrows v. State, 649 So.2d 902, 903 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) (superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Jupiter v. State, 833 So.2d 169 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002)).

         When determining whether offenses occurred during the same criminal episode, the reviewing court examines the entire record, including all evidence admitted at trial. See Edwards, 139 So.3d at 92 (examining the record to determine whether the defendant's convictions arose from a single criminal episode); Sanders, 101 So.3d at 375 (relying on the record to determine whether appellant's convictions arose from offenses occurring in the same criminal episode); Williams, 90 So.3d at 933 (relying on the record to determine whether appellant's convictions were based on offenses occurring in a single criminal episode); Nicholson v. State, 757 So.2d 1227 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (holding that the defendant's convictions under identically worded counts of throwing a deadly missile into a dwelling did not violate double jeopardy because the evidence presented at trial clearly distinguished between the two counts).

         If, and only if, we determine that multiple offenses occurred during a single criminal episode do we proceed to the second step of the test. This step involves the determination of whether the offenses are based on distinct criminal acts. In assessing whether acts are distinct, the reviewing court examines "whether there was (1) a temporal break between the acts, (2) intervening acts, (3) a change in location between the acts; and/or (4) a new criminal intent formed." Partch, 43 So.3d at 761 (citing Hayes v. State, 803 So.2d 695, 700 (Fla. 2001)). The Florida Supreme Court has described a distinct act as:

"[W]hen the impulse is single, but one indictment lies, no matter how long the action may continue. If successive impulses are separately given, even though all unite in swelling a common stream of action, separate indictments lie." Wharton's Criminal Law (11th Ed.) § 34. Or, as stated in note 3 to that section, "The test is whether the individual acts are prohibited, or the course of action which they constitute. If the former, then each act is punishable separately. If the latter, there can be but one penalty."

Graham, 207 So.3d at 139 (quoting Blockburger, 284 U.S. at 302). A similar analysis was applied in R.J.R. v. State, 88 So.3d 264, 268 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012), when this Court observed, "the State failed to establish that the acts occurred in different locations, that there was any temporal break between the two acts that would have enabled R.J.R. to reflect and form a new criminal intent for the second act, or that there were any intervening acts interrupting R.J.R.'s resisting arrest."

          Just as was required in the first step of the test, step two requires the examination of the entire record before a court may conclude that multiple acts are distinct for double jeopardy purposes. See Graham, 207 So.3d at 141 (relying on the record to determine whether the defendant's multiple convictions were based on distinct acts); McCarter v. State, 204 So.3d 529, 530 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (concluding that the record established two distinct acts of solicitation, a request for illicit pictures and a solicitation for a lewd or lascivious molestation, to support appellant's dual convictions for solicitation and traveling). This Court applied the distinct acts test in our decision in Harris v. State, 111 So.3d 922, 924 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), and examined the entire record to determine whether the facts reflected "an uninterrupted series of acts, as opposed to distinct acts separated by time, intervening acts, or different locations."

         Third, and only after determining that the conduct involved did not arise from separate criminal episodes or distinct acts occurring during a single criminal episode, the reviewing court must apply the third step of the analysis, same elements test. In this step, the court must determine whether each of the charged offenses requires proof of an element that the other does not. § 775.021(4)(a), Fla. Stat. (2013). The general rule is that the Legislature intends to allow punishment for each criminal offense committed during a single criminal episode or transaction. Harris, 111 So.3d at 924. But three statutory exceptions to that rule must be considered, to wit:

1. Offenses which require identical elements of proof.
2. Offenses which are degrees of the same offense as provided by statute.
3. Offenses which are lesser offenses the statutory elements of which are subsumed by the greater offense.

§ 775.021(4), Fla. Stat. (2013).

         Significantly, when applying the same elements test, the reviewing court's analysis is limited to examining the elements of the statute, "without regard to the accusatory pleading or the proof adduced at trial." § 775.021(4)(a), Fla. Stat. (2013); see also Glover v. State, 29 So.3d 325, 326 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010) (explaining that the examination of facts is improper when applying the same elements test). The supreme court recently reaffirmed the requirement to examine only the elements of the statutes involved when applying the third step of the double jeopardy analysis. See Roughton v. State, 185 So.3d 1207, 1210 (Fla. 2016) (holding that an examination of anything other than elements of the charged offenses was contrary to the plain language of the statute).

         B. Shelley and Hamilton

         Lee argues that the supreme court's decision in Shelley and our court's decision in Hamilton require reversal of his convictions for unlawful use of a two-way communications device and solicitation because both offenses are subsumed within his conviction for traveling after solicitation. We disagree. Both Shelley and Hamilton are cases where the reviewing court has proceeded to the third step of the double jeopardy analysis and applied the same elements test. Thus, the holdings in those cases apply only where the reviewing court has determined that the defendant's convictions were based on conduct which occurred in a single criminal episode and did not involve distinct criminal acts. And neither decision disturbs well-established precedent that double jeopardy "does not prohibit multiple convictions and punishments where a defendant commits two or more distinct criminal acts." Hayes, 803 So.2d at 700 (emphasis in original). Because Lee's convictions arise both from separate criminal episodes and distinct criminal acts, the rationale in Shelley and Hamilton is not applicable and does not bar his multiple convictions.

         i. Shelley

         Following a plea, Shelley was convicted of a single count of traveling and a single count of solicitation. Shelley, 176 So.3d at 916-17. Shelley argued that his convictions violated double jeopardy because solicitation was a lesser-included offense of traveling after solicitation. On review, the supreme court agreed that a double jeopardy violation occurred. The court did not expressly analyze whether Shelley's convictions for traveling and solicitation arose from separate criminal episodes or involved distinct criminal acts. Id. at 917-19. Instead, the court limited its analysis to applying the third step of the double jeopardy test. However, the supreme court applied only this step of the analysis because it concluded Shelley's dual convictions were based on the same conduct.

         Although Shelley communicated "[o]ver the course of several days" with an undercover officer "posing as a single mother nudist 'looking for family fun, '" the court's opinion indicates that only a single act of solicitation was involved. Id. at 916. The supreme court specifically observed that the "State relied upon the same conduct to charge both offenses." Id. at 917 (emphasis added). And the court expressly held that "Shelley's dual convictions for solicitation and traveling after solicitation based on the same conduct impermissibly place[d] him in double jeopardy." Id. at 919 (emphasis added). Thus, because it concluded that Shelley's offenses were based on a single criminal act of solicitation, the court proceeded to apply the same elements test to determine whether the elements of solicitation were subsumed by the elements of traveling after solicitation. Id. at 919; see also Graham, 207 So.3d at 141 (holding that when a defendant is convicted under multiple statutes for a single criminal act, a reviewing court applies the same elements test); Tindal, 145 So.3d at 923-24 (applying the same elements test only after concluding that the offenses occurred during the same criminal episode and that the offenses were not based on distinct acts).

         When applying the third step, the court examined the language in section 847.0135(3), Florida Statutes, in which the Legislature authorized separate punishments for each use of a computer service or device to solicit a child and determined that this language failed to "address what effect charging a solicitation offense has on the State's ability to use the same solicitation to charge the defendant with traveling after solicitation." Id. at 919 (emphasis added). Holding that this intent did not translate into an intent to authorize separate convictions for conduct that constituted both solicitation and traveling after solicitation, the court applied the same elements test and determined that the elements of solicitation were subsumed within the elements of traveling after solicitation. Id.

         Thus, the supreme court's holding is that "dual convictions for solicitation and traveling after solicitation" violate double jeopardy when they are "based on the same conduct." Id. at 919. Shelley does not proscribe convictions for traveling and solicitation based on either (1) multiple acts of solicitation that occur during separate criminal episodes or (2) distinct acts of solicitation that occur during a single criminal episode. And Shelley does not disturb well-established precedent allowing for multiple punishments where a defendant commits multiple criminal acts. Accordingly, dual convictions for solicitation and traveling are not barred by Shelley and do not violate double jeopardy, if the record demonstrates that the defendant made two or more solicitations. Rather, the holding in Shelley is limited to cases where the defendant is convicted of both solicitation and traveling after solicitation based on a single act of solicitation.

          ii. Hamilton

         Lee also attempts to rely on our decision in Hamilton to argue that his charges of traveling after solicitation and unlawful use of a two-way communications device violate double jeopardy, but his argument fails. 163 So.3d at 1278. Hamilton argued that his convictions for both offenses arose from the same criminal episode, and thus, violated double jeopardy because the elements of unlawful use of a two-way communications device were subsumed within the elements of traveling after solicitation. Id. We agreed and held that dual convictions for traveling after solicitation and unlawful use of a two-way communications device violated the prohibition against double jeopardy, when the offenses occurred during the course of the same criminal episode. Id. at 1278-79. Although this Court did not expressly examine whether there were distinct acts of solicitation, we implicitly did so by proceeding to step three of the double jeopardy analysis and examining whether the offenses contained the same elements. See Tindal, 145 So.3d at 923-24; Sanders, 101 So.3d at 375. Applying the same elements test, we concluded that Hamilton's dual convictions violated double jeopardy. Hamilton, 163 So.3d at 1279.

         Based on our holding that Hamilton's multiple convictions arose from a single criminal episode and our application of only the third step of the double jeopardy test, Hamilton does not proscribe convictions for traveling after solicitation and use of a two-way communications device based either on distinct acts of solicitation occurring in multiple criminal episodes or on distinct acts of solicitation occurring in a single criminal episode. Rather, the holding in Hamilton, like the holding in Shelley, is limited to cases where the defendant is charged with multiple offenses based on a single act of solicitation.

         iii. Post- Shelley and Hamilton Decisions

         In some recent decisions, our sister courts have misconstrued the holdings of Shelley and Hamilton in one or more of the following respects.[2] First, in some cases ostensibly involving separate criminal episodes or distinct acts, the courts appear to have proceeded directly to the third step of the double jeopardy analysis without examining whether the offenses arose from separate criminal episodes or distinct acts. See, e.g., Thomas v. State, 209 So.3d 35, 35 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016) (concluding, despite evidence at trial of "increasingly lurid text messages and communications" over the course of four days, that appellant's convictions for traveling and solicitation violated double jeopardy by examining only the charging documents and without analyzing whether his convictions were based on distinct acts of solicitation); Stapler v. State, 190 So.3d 162, 164 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016) (finding a double jeopardy violation despite evidence of multiple acts of solicitation, and expressly declining to consider any information outside of the charging document). Those courts should have applied the three-step analysis outlined in Paul and Partch and determined whether the convictions in those cases arose from a single criminal episode or whether the convictions were based on distinct acts before proceeding to the same elements test.

         Second, other courts have applied the first two steps of the double jeopardy analysis but limited their review of the record to the charging document and the jury verdict. See, e.g., Honaker v. State, 199 So.3d 1068, 1068 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016) (granting relief on appellant's postconviction double jeopardy claim by relying on the information to determine whether offenses arose from the same conduct despite evidence at trial that the defendant engaged in "inappropriate communications" over the course of four days); Mizner v. State, 154 So.3d 391, 400 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) (declining to consider the State's argument that the evidence at trial showed that the offenses occurred on different days during separate criminal episodes because the information was not sufficiently specific). But, the proper application of steps one and two of the double jeopardy analysis necessarily requires an examination of the entire evidentiary record - examination of separate criminal episodes and distinct criminal acts should not be limited to the charging document and the jury verdict.

         Third, it appears that some courts have implicitly and erroneously shifted the burden to the State to show that the jury's multiple guilty verdicts were not based on a single act of solicitation, rather than requiring the appellant to show that the record could not support convictions for multiple offenses. [3] See, e.g., Holt, 173 So.3d at 1081 (holding that it may not assume that offenses were predicated on distinct acts where neither the charging information nor the jury verdict form included specific language predicating the charges on distinct acts). But in double jeopardy cases, it is the appellant's burden to demonstrate that an error occurred at the trial level, not the State's burden to show that error did not occur. See Edwards, 139 So.3d at 983; Capron, 948 So.2d at 957.

         C. Application of the Three-Step Test to Lee's Multiple Convictions

         Initially, we observe that the previous majority opinion implicitly shifted the burden to the State to show that the jury did not convict Lee of all three offenses based on a single act of solicitation when it held:

In this case, although the proof at trial of text messages over several days established multiple uses of Appellant's cell phone to facilitate a felony and also established multiple solicitations, we cannot presume with certainty that Appellant was not convicted of the same act in all three counts. The information in this case did not allege distinct acts; the verdict form did not separate the acts; and the evidence presented to the jury could support, but did not require, the jury to find that the acts underlying Appellant's conviction were separate. Therefore we find that a double jeopardy violation has occurred.

Lee v. State, 2016 WL 6928551, *4 (Fla. 1st DCA Nov. 28, 2016) (emphasis added). We repeat that it is the defendant's burden to demonstrate on appeal that his convictions violate double jeopardy, not the State's burden to prove the negative. See Sprouse, 208 So.3d at 787; Edwards, 139 So.3d at 983. Consequently, having vacated our opinion issued on November 26, 2016, we consider Lee's claim of a double jeopardy violation under the framework outlined in Section A of this opinion.

         To prevail on both of his double jeopardy claims, Lee must show that his convictions were based on the same act of solicitation. But his claims must fail, if the record establishes three or more criminal episodes of solicitations or three or more distinct acts of solicitation. A separate solicitation is required to support each of the counts charged in the information. One solicitation is required to support Lee's traveling after solicitation conviction, because all of the elements of solicitation are subsumed within the offense of traveling after solicitation. Shelley, 176 So.3d at 919. A second solicitation is required to support Lee's conviction for unlawful use of a two-way communications device. Hamilton, 163 So.3d at 1279. And a third solicitation is necessary to support the solicitation conviction.

The State charged Lee as follows:
BRIAN MITCHELL LEE, on or about January 2, 2014, at and in Escambia County, Florida, did knowingly travel any distance either within this state, to this state, or from this state by any means, or who attempted to do so, for the purpose of engaging in any illegal act described in Chapter 794, Chapter 800, or Chapter 827, Florida Statutes, or to otherwise engage in other unlawful sexual conduct with a child less than 18 years of age or with another person believed by the said BRIAN MITCHELL LEE to be a child less than 18 years of age, after using a computer on-line service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure or entice or attempted to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by BRIAN MITCHELL LEE to be a child, to-wit: a law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old male child, to engage in any illegal act described in Chapter 794, Chapter 800, or Chapter 827, Florida Statutes, or to otherwise engage in other unlawful sexual conduct with a child, in violation of Section 847.0135(4)(a), Florida Statutes.
BRIAN MITCHELL LEE, on one or more occasions between December 22, 2013, and January 1, 2014, at an in Escambia County, Florida, did unlawfully and knowingly use a two-way communication device, to-wit: cellular telephone, to facilitate or further the commission of a felony offense, to-wit: Traveling to Meet a Minor to Engage in Sexual Conduct, in violation of Section 934.215, Florida Statutes.
BRIAN MITCHELL LEE, on one or more occasions between December 22, 2013, and January 1, 2014, at and in Escambia County, Florida, did knowingly utilize a computer on-line service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by the said BRIAN MITCHELL LEE to be a child less than 18 years of age, to-wit: a law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old male child, to commit any illegal act described in Chapter 794, relating to sexual battery; Chapter 800, relating to lewdness and indecent exposure; or Chapter 827, relating to child abuse, or to otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed by the said BRIAN MITCHELL LEE to be a child, in violation of Section 847.01325(3)(a), Florida Statutes.

         Thus, the unlawful use of the two-way communications device and solicitation counts were charged as occurring "on one or more occasions between December 22, 2013 and January 1, 2014." The traveling after solicitation count was charged as occurring on January 2, 2014. But because there was no evidence of a solicitation on January 2, 2014, the solicitation required to support the traveling count must have occurred during the period the parties were communicating via email: December 22, 2013 through January 1, 2014. The solicitations required to support the other two counts also must have occurred during the same eleven-day period.

         Based on the unambiguous language of the information, Lee was on notice and the jury could find that Lee committed multiple acts of solicitation during the charged period. Further, neither the jury instructions nor the verdict form limited the jury to considering only one act of solicitation for all three offenses. Rather, both were general and contained no reference to any date or any specific act of solicitation.

         But despite the express language of the information alleging one or more acts of solicitation over the course of eleven days, Lee argues that the charging documents, jury instructions, and the verdict form were not sufficiently specific to allow the jury to base each of his convictions on a separate solicitation.[4] This argument is meritless for two reasons. First, the State is not required to allege in the information the specific solicitation associated with each count charged in the information or listed on the verdict form to defeat a double jeopardy claim.[5]See Fravel v. State, 188 So.3d 969, 971 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016) (holding that double jeopardy was not implicated by a two-count information that charged the defendant with two degrees of the same offense where the evidence at trial clearly distinguished between the two counts); Nicholson, 757 So.2d at 1228 (rejecting a double jeopardy claim based on two counts of throwing an object into a house where "the evidence at trial clearly distinguished between the two separate offenses."). Second, to determine whether multiple solicitations occurred during different criminal episodes or whether there were distinct acts of solicitation within a single criminal episode, we are required to review the record in its entirety. Graham, 207 So.3d at 141 (relying on evidence presented at trial to determine whether appellant's convictions were based on distinct acts); Sanders, ...


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