State of Florida v Fernando Carillo
The prosecution for the State of Florida was adamant that the Venezuelan actor serve at least what they considered to be a suitable amount of time in jail for what was claimed to be an act of sexual assault by a woman he admittedly kissed in the lobby of a condo in Aventura.
Demonstrating his account of what actually happened, he said to a CBS Miami producer while being interviewed outside the courtroom about the charge "They want to say lies, like I kissed you on the cheek," as he gave her a small peck. "And now you're going to say I kissed you on the lips? That's very frivolous. I would never kiss a woman on the lips without consent."
Mr. Carillo was arrested in November of 2014 for allegedly kissing a security guard on the lips against her will while he was leaving the apartment of two friends in North Miami Beach, Florida.
The State alleged that Carillo approached the supposed victim, Berline Castor from behind, held her arms back forcefully and kissed her twice on the lips. Carillo for his part denied the described encounter and instead claimed that Castor approached him after recognizing who he was, and engaged in small talk with him. Carillo then kissed her on the cheek as he left to pick up his car at the valet area of the building and said have a blessed day. In other words Carillo claimed that the so-called battery was consensual and no crime at all.
I immediately subpoenaed the videotape of the condominium lobby seeking to obtain a copy of the events of the incident that would support my client's position. However the videotape had been destroyed or was unavailable. I also had my investigators conduct an exploration of the incident which revealed the names of witnesses who corroborated Mr. Carillo's recitation of the facts and who would have testified as defense witnesses had the case gone to trial. I then had Mr. Carillo submit to a polygraph which he passed as truthful.
The State however would not move off of its position in the case demanding at least a 60 day jail sentence as part of any plea discussion.
I then filed motions to dismiss on due process grounds based upon the destruction of the videotapes; motions to suppress Mr. Carillo's arrest and post arrest statements, and a motion to admit the polygraph results which would have established that Mr. Carillo was telling the truth concerning his rendition of events.
After pretrial hearings and witness testimony the Court denied the Motions but I reserved Mr. Carillo's right to appeal the Court's denial of these motions to the Third District Court of Appeals as part of a plea agreement which included no admission of guilt (a so called Alford plea) which could not be admissible in any civil proceeding which Castor might seek to bring against Mr. Carillo in the future. (During my investigation of the case it was learned that Castor had ultimately hired a civil lawyer to consider filing a civil lawsuit against Mr. Carillo).
Thus by skillfully crafting the plea agreement in the manner described above and entering an open Alford plea Mr. Carillo did not admit guilt and protected himself from the admissibility of the criminal plea disposition in any future civil proceeding.
Despite the State's demand that Judge Andrew Hague sentence Mr. Carillo to 60 days in jail the Court ultimately imposed a no confinement probationary sentence.
Mr. Carillo will return to Malibu California where he lives, now that this case has been disposed of successfully.
With close to forty years in the legal profession working as a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, Florida, and an Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting cases for the government and currently practicing as a criminal defense attorney in South Florida for more than the past fifteen years, my law office based in Fort Lauderdale specializes in federal criminal defense as well as charges brought forward by the State of Florida and is the proper choice to fight all allegations of crimes when accused by the prosecution.
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