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Bentley v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

December 13, 2017

Torino Antwan Bentley, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 13-8253 Stacy D. Glick, Judge.

          Woodward & Reizenstein and Philip L. Reizenstein, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jeffrey R. Geldens, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before EMAS, LOGUE and LINDSEY, JJ.

          EMAS, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Torino Antwan Bentley appeals from his conviction and sentence for lewd and lascivious battery on a child (twelve years or older but less than sixteen years of age), in violation of section 800.04(4)(a), Florida Statutes (2013).[1] We find no error and affirm.

         BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 9, 2013, a City of Miami Police Commander, assigned to the State Attorney's Human Trafficking Task Force, was called by a woman who reported that her thirteen-year-old daughter had run away. The Commander conducted an investigation which led him to a phone number from which the victim had recently called. That phone number led the Commander and another officer to Bentley's address.

         When the officers arrived at the house, Bentley and his father were home. The officers advised they were looking for a thirteen-year-old girl who they believed was in danger, and that they were aware this girl had used Bentley's phone. Bentley first told police that he had met the girl the night before at a convenience store, and let her use his phone. When the officers asked Bentley if they could search the home for the girl, Bentley became nervous, but nevertheless consented. When the officers entered Bentley's bedroom, they noticed the bed skirt was moving. Upon being prompted by one of the officers, the victim emerged from under the bed naked. The officers noticed that there was blood everywhere, including on the bed, and bloody items in a plastic grocery bag hanging from the bedroom door.

         The victim told the officers that she had run away from home, and was tired and hungry when she encountered Bentley at a corner store the previous evening. Bentley was in his car, and asked the victim if she needed a ride and if she wanted to "chill." The victim said yes, and got in Bentley's car. Bentley took her to his house, and into his bedroom, and asked her if she was hungry. He gave her some fries that were in the bedroom, and then she used his phone to call her mom and her aunt. The victim said she had no place to go, and did not want to go to her aunt's house because she had run away and her aunt did not want to get into trouble.

         The victim took a shower at Bentley's house, and put on clothes he gave her. When she laid down to go to sleep, Bentley told her he wanted to have sex. She had sex with him twice, both times with a condom, which Bentley then put in a plastic bag. When the victim woke up in the morning, Bentley told her to hide under the bed, which she did until the police told her to come out. The victim told police that the stains on the bed were because she was menstruating.

         Bentley later admitted that he lied to the police about the victim being at the house because he was scared. He told the officers that he met her the night before, and she did not have a place to stay, so he allowed her to come home with him, but he did not know she was thirteen, and thought she was eighteen. He admitted having sex with her. Bentley was arrested and later ...


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