Some of this may be due to them not accepting the offer the state had set forth.
“We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn't something they wanted to accept responsibility for. Despite the video, despite all the witnesses.” Dafonseca said.
He added that it was â€˜important that the community knew what wouldn't be tolerated on public beaches.â€™
“We're dealing with basically tourists [that witnessed the events], that came from Brandon and Riverview and West Virginia, and they're here on the beaches of Manatee County, our public beaches,” he said. “So you want to make sure that this isn't something that just goes by the wayside. And that it is well-known to the community, what will be tolerated and what won't be.”
“Did they try to cuddle, or do it discreetly? Did they go in the water, where people couldn't see?” Ed Brodsky, state attorney for the 16th judicial district posed to the jury. “Did Ms. Alvarez try to drape a towel over herself, or anything? They didn't care.”
Family members are upset at just how much attention this case is getting and the fact that itâ€™s a clear example of making an example out of people that may not be so deserving of it.
Joseâ€™s mother, as might be expected, said, “He's a great person. There are other things out there we need to worry about, and they're still loose, people who have done worse stuff.”
Elissaâ€™s father, Carlos Alvarez, said, â€œShe's an 18-year-old woman, with a 40-year-old man. I always say women can be better than men … but they fall in love, and they make a lot of mistakes.â€
They face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and they will have to register as sex offenders. A sentencing date has not been announced thus far.