Fredie Jiles Leon, the 19-year-old Palm Coast man who was charged with two rape counts a few months after his 18th birthday last year, pleaded to felony child abuse today before Circuit Court Judge Terence Perkins in Bunnell.
Leon, a resident of Whittier Lane in Palm Coast, was sentenced to 364 days at the county jail followed by four years’ drug-offender probation. He was not designated a sexual offender, but for the duration of the probation, he will have to abide by many of the same conditions that attach to a sex offender.
Assistant State Prosecutor Melissa Clark prosecuted the case in its latter stages. It had originally been prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Joe LeDonne. After the disposition of the case, Clark and Assistant State Attorney Jason Lewis today explained the disparity between the original charge and the plea agreement. Leon, they said, was originally “overcharged” when the rape charges were filed, meaning that the charge should have been lewd or lascivious molestation, not sex battery (or rape), because “this was never an allegation where the victim was forced” Clark said: it had been a consensual act–an illegal act, to be sure, because the victim was under-age, but not forcible rape.
Then other mitigating factors were taken in consideration: Leon’s IQ is around 70, and he reads at a 6th grade level. A psycho-sexual evaluation was conducted, and he was determined to have a “low to moderate risk” of re-offending. He had no prior history of criminal or sexually suspect behavior. And before the incidents that led to his arrest, the victim had texted him that she was older than she actually was. All of those factors combined led the prosecution to agree to the lower charge. Leon was represented by attorney Alicia Washington.
He had initially faced two first-degree felony counts, having engaged in sexual acts with the girl orally and vaginally. (He had also offered the girl marijuana, which resulted in a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a child. That charge was dropped as part of the deal.) The child abuse charge is a third-degree felony. The family of the victim agreed to the deal and was comfortable with Leon not being branded a sex offender, the prosecutors said.
Nevertheless he faces considerable strictures in the years ahead, after his release from jail. He was booked at the county jail this afternoon, and will serve his term there rather than in state prison since it does not exceed one year. Once he is released, he will have to have another psycho-sexual evaluation.
For the duration of his four years’ probation, he is barred from having unsupervised contact with minors and barred from working with children. He is barred from indulging in alcohol or drugs and subject to random drug- and alcohol-testing. If he fails such tests, he faces the revocation of his probation and the possibility of serving out his term in prison. He is to have no access to internet porn–or engage in Halloween activities. He is required to have a full-time job or be enrolled in school full-time, and will have to comply with a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew unless he must work during those hours.
“We wanted to make sure he was on the hook for all the sex-offender stuff,” Lewis said. Leon will be allowed to live at home with family (his mother, his father, an adult sister) as long as he is supervised when around adult children. Those conditions will be lifted at the end of the probation period, which itself may be considerably shortened if he abides by its strictures without problems. But he would have to petition the court to end the probation early, and not before he is at least halfway through the probationary term.
Lucky man dodged a bullet bye bye
Just another case of plea bargaining and an easy sentence. This guy will be back in the news within a year, trust me. When are the judges going to wake up and have people suffer the true consequences of their actions? That’s what will create change as people will finally realize that if I do (A) I will suffer (B).
He got a great deal
He has an IQ of 70. I don’t think the general population realizes how low this is. An IQ of 69 or lower is considered what used to be referred to as “mental retardation.” There are laws preventing people of this low of IQ being persecuted for their crimes.
If this guy is INDEED mentally retarded then he should be institutionalized where he will not be a threat to people who are NOT mentally retarded.
Went to school with Freddie for many years. Nothing surprises me. For those calling him retarded, he was not. He just wasn’t intelligent. There’s a difference. He dodge a bullet, got a slap on the wrist, and we will be hearing of him again soon.
Just me says
He belongs in a state prison regardless if his iq. The system sucks
If the high school would stop mixing the classes up with these kids relationships wouldn’t form. It was consensual but considered wrong by age. What should be stopped is allowing them to be on the same bus and classroom!!!!
this is crazy….In Brevard county Florida, a 22 year old man that had disabilities’ got charge with lewd lascivious battery, because he had consensual sex with 15 year old who had ID that said she was 18, she was a run away who cut off her ankle bracelet, and had been in and out of jail, she also had been in trouble for prostitution, and had admitted to lying about her age, the judge in this young man case would not let the jury hear any of this, and the girl got paid to come testify against him, I don’t understand our justice system—-