FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Brevard County, Morgan Laur
S. Purdy, Public Defender, and Susan A. Fagan, Assistant
Public Defender, Daytona Beach, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Andrea K. Totten,
Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.
Batiz, a Honduran citizen, was convicted by a jury of lewd or
lascivious molestation of a person less than sixteen years of
On appeal, Batiz raises a number of issues. We affirm and
write only to address Batiz's arguments related to state
special maritime criminal jurisdiction pursuant to section
910.006, Florida Statutes (2018).
was a cabin steward on a cruise ship. The alleged incident
leading to the charges against Batiz occurred while the
cruise ship was in international waters.However, the State
alleged in the information that the events occurred in
Brevard County, Florida. At Batiz's trial, following the
State's case-in-chief, Batiz moved for judgment of
acquittal, asserting for the first time that the State failed
to invoke the maritime criminal jurisdiction of the trial
court because the information alleged that the events
occurred in Brevard County, which was indisputably
incorrect. He alternatively argued that the State
failed to prove jurisdiction pursuant to section 910.006. The
trial court denied Batiz's motion.
appeal, Batiz maintains that the information did not invoke
the maritime criminal jurisdiction of the trial court because
the State failed to allege, pursuant to section 910.006, a
maritime occurrence in the charging document. He also maintains
that the State's evidence was insufficient to prove that
the trial court had jurisdiction pursuant to that statute.
enacting section 910.006, the Florida Legislature found that
"Florida is a major center for international travel and
trade by sea" and "has an interest in ensuring the
protection of persons traveling to or from Florida by
sea." § 910.006(1)(a)-(b), Fla. Stat. The statute
establishes maritime criminal jurisdiction in Florida courts
to hear charges based on acts or omissions on board ships
outside the state in delimited circumstances. Id.
§ 910.006(1)(e). The circumstances provided are:
(a) There is a suspect on board the ship who is a citizen or
resident of this state or a state which consents to the
jurisdiction of this state.
(b) The master of the ship or an official of the flag state
commits a suspect on board the ship to the custody of a law
enforcement officer acting under the authority of this state.
c) The state in whose territory the act or omission occurred
requests the exercise of jurisdiction by this state.
(d) The act or omission occurs during a voyage on which over
half of the revenue passengers on board the ship originally
embarked and plan to finally disembark in this state, without
regard to intermediate stopovers.
(e) The victim is a Florida law enforcement officer on board
the ship in connection with his ...