Kathgret R. Rentz, Appellant,
State of Florida, Appellee.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. Robert R.
Newman of Luke Newman, P.A., Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Benjamin L. Hoffman, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
challenges the trial court's denial of her motion to
withdraw her plea, denial of her motion to suppress, and the
reliance on impermissible sentencing factors. We reverse the
trial court's denial of Appellant's motion to
withdraw her plea and decline to address the other arguments
State charged Appellant with six counts of lewd and
lascivious conduct in violation of section 800.04(6)(b),
Florida Statutes. All charges were enhanced to first-degree
felonies based on Appellant's status as an authority
figure at the victim's school, pursuant to section
775.0862, Florida Statutes.
Brannon of the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) responded
to a report of inappropriate behavior between an adult female
and a male child. The complainant informed dispatch that the
subjects were kissing and acting inappropriately with one
another in the pool area of an apartment complex. When
Officer Brannon arrived on scene, he met with a leasing
manager who reported that several employees and tenants
informed her of inappropriate behavior between an adult
female and a male child over the past week. The leasing
manager pointed out the suspect and the victim, who were
still in the pool.
Brannon observed the two from the leasing office while they
interacted together in the pool. Although Officer Brannon did
not see the two touch or kiss, he noted that the way they
behaved was "very unusual" and at one point, the
child went under water while the suspect "slowly swam
directly over him in a seductive manner."
time later, the adult female and male child left the pool and
entered the female's vehicle. Officer Brannon approached
the vehicle and conducted an investigatory stop. The two were
walked to the leasing office and separated. The suspect was
identified as Appellant Kathgret Rentz, a
twenty-eight-year-old female, and the child was identified as
an eleven-year-old male. Appellant informed Officer Brannon
that she was close family friends with the child. Officer
Brannon read Appellant her Miranda warnings, and she
advised him that she wanted an attorney.
police took statements from seven independent witnesses who
observed inappropriate conduct at the pool between Appellant
and the victim. According to the witness statements, the
suspect and the victim had been seen kissing and hugging as
though they were a couple on various occasions in the
previous two weeks. One witness reported seeing the victim
grabbing the suspect's breasts in addition to observing
them hugging and kissing intimately. A separate witness
reported seeing the two "caressing, kissing, and
fondling each other in inappropriate places." The
consistent theme throughout the accounts was that the two
appeared to be a couple that were involved in a romantic
victim's mother arrived on scene, confirmed the
victim's age, and informed the police that Appellant was
the guidance counselor at the victim's school. Appellant
befriended the victim's family and offered to help the
victim with his school work and other issues. According to
the victim's mother, the victim spent the night at
Appellant's residence more than once and
"communicated with [Appellant] via cellular phone on a
was arrested for lewd or lascivious conduct. It was noted
that the investigation would be ongoing with pending search
warrants. The police obtained nine search warrants, one of
which was for ...