Davenport man found guilty of sexual battery on a child

JURY VERDICT: Davenport man found guilty of sexual battery on a child

Jon Moyer first molested his victim when she was 7 and continued for nearly 10 years.

Jon Moyer

It only took 15 minutes for a jury to find him guilty Thursday of sexual battery by a person with familial or custodial authority.

On a controlled phone call with the victim that was played in court, Moyer told the victim that the sexual experiences they shared were beautiful “even though it was on the wrong side of the fence.”

Moyer told the girl he never just went through the motions of the sexual acts.

“I love you,” he told her. “You felt me, what’s in my heart.”

When Moyer was questioned from the witness stand about whether he sexually abused the girl, he replied, “I did nothing wrong.”

Moyer faces 30 years in prison and will be sentenced August 31.

Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson tried the case and said she credits her success to Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detective Desirey Wright, who put together a solid case. Moyer had molested the victim in other counties, with the incidents in Polk beginning when she was 13, and Swenson said, Wright made sure she gathered everything the other counties had and more.

Lake Wales man guilty of attempted second-degree murder after shooting at truck

JURY VERDICT: Lake Wales man guilty of attempted second-degree murder after shooting at truck

Robert Daniel was driving to work when he saw a man in a black corvette pull up beside him and fire three shots into his vehicle.

John Decesare, 74, of Lake Wales.

After 25 minutes of deliberation, a jury found John Decesare, 74, guilty July 12 of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. Decesare faces a minimum of 20 years for attempted second-degree murder and will be sentenced August 25.

Assistant State Attorney Randi Daugustinis walked jurors through the chain of events on Nov. 4, 2014.

Daniel left his house before 6 a.m. that morning and was driving on rural roads to get to his job in Lake Wales. About 6:15, Daniel looked in his rear view mirror to see a vehicle approaching him from behind, which was odd to him as it is uncommon to see traffic in rural areas.

He watched as a black corvette pulled into the left lane, and Daniel assumed the driver would pass him, which was common when he drove his work truck. He let off the gas to allow the corvette to pass.

“I noticed after I let off the throttle, the car was still next to me,” Daniel said from the witness stand. “It stayed with me even as I was slowing down.”

That was when Daniel heard a gunshot and felt an impact on the driver’s side door. He leaned to the right to avoid getting struck and heard two more shots go off as he hit the brakes and pulled off of the road.

Daniel was not injured in the shooting.

“I was confused and shocked. It was something I’d never experienced before,” Daniel told jurors, adding that he was unable to see the driver of the corvette. “I have no idea who would’ve been shooting at me. I couldn’t think of any enemies.”

Assistant State Attorney Randi Daugustinis addresses jurors during closing arguments July 12. Decesare was found guilty as charged after only 25 minutes of deliberation.

When law enforcement arrived on scene, Daniel told them he’d never seen the black corvette before. But he did tell them it
wasn’t uncommon for him to have incidents with a motorcycle rider in the early mornings when he drove to work.

The man, who rode a black motorcycle with three headlights, would ride alongside his work truck, pull in front of him and slow down. He never spoke to the rider or antagonized him in any way, but he continued encountering the man on his way to work.

Daniel recalled seeing the rider enter the same housing community he lived in.

A PCSO deputy who’d been patrolling the area for 18 years had an idea of who the rider was, based off the description Daniel had given off the motorcycle. Decesare would make small talk with the deputy over the years when the two would cross paths during breakfast at Perkins, often chatting about his motorcycle.

When the deputy saw Decesare riding his motorcycle that day, he stopped him and asked to search the bike. Decesare cooperated with deputies, who found a handgun and magazine with ammunition in one of the locked saddle bags.

FDLE testing proved that the bullet holes and projectiles from Daniel’s truck matched the firearm deputies found in Decesare’s motorcycle.

When questioned, Decesare admitted he was involved in the shooting. He told deputies he was driving his corvette, and the other driver was in a truck.

Decesare told deputies in a taped statement that he felt the truck driver was tormenting him each time they crossed paths while he was on his bike.

“I got sick of it,” Decesare said in the statement. “I thought I’d just scare him off, put a couple bullets in his fender, teach him a lesson. … I didn’t shoot to kill him.”

Daugustinis reminded jurors that Decesare’s actions proved otherwise.

“It is an evil intent to scare someone by firing multiple rounds into their vehicle. It shows an indifference to human life,” she said in closing arguments. “The rounds were aimed at the door. He knew there was a person on the other side of that door.”

The defense argued that Decesare meant to shoot at the front of the vehicle but struggled with aim while driving fast and steering with just one hand – that although he went about it the wrong way, his intent was to scare the man and not hurt him.

“Why fire at least three rounds if you’re just trying to scare someone?” Daugustinis asked the jurors. “It’s just not reasonable to believe. He was intentionally shooting at driver side door knowing there was a driver on the other side of that door. … The defendant’s actions and intent that day showed ill will, hatred, spite and evil intent.”

Kissimmee man guilty of molesting an 8-year-old girl

JURY VERDICT: Kissimmee man guilty of molesting an 8-year-old girl

Roudy Vital claimed that the reason he bathed an 8-year-old girl and touched her inappropriately was because he wanted to make sure she was completely clean.

Roudy Vital, 42, of Kissimmee.

A jury found Vital guilty of lewd molestation June 27. A mandatory life sentenced will be imposed on Vital at his sentencing hearing Aug. 7.

Assistant State Attorney Lauren Randall told the jury that Vital is a family friend and was asked to babysit the victim and her younger sister while their mother was at work. The girls liked Vital and trusted him, Randall said.

“(Vital) saw vulnerability and seized an opportunity,” Randall told jurors.

Before putting the girls to bed, Vital asked the 8-year-old to take a shower. Instead of leaving her to shower alone, he stayed to watch her, bathe her and touch her.

“Even to an 8-year-old, she knew right away what he was doing was wrong,” Randall said. “She felt uncomfortable and did not know what to do.”

After the shower, Vital took the girl to his bedroom and continued touching her sexually, telling her, “One day you are going to be a woman and have a husband that will do that to you.”

He sent the girl to bed and told her that what happened is their secret and that she should not tell her mother.

The following morning, the girl was woken up by Vital touching her inappropriately again. He then tells her he was only checking on her and that she should get up and get ready for church.

After church, Vital took the girls back to their mother, and the victim immediately told her mother what had been done to her.

Law enforcement interviewed Vital, who admitted he laid the child on his bed and physically examined her, but he denied touching her sexually. His statement was played in court, and Randall pointed out the tone of his voice and how he remained defensive throughout the interview.

“He minimizes what he did,” Randall said. “He tries to veil his motives in how he deflects and shifts the blame.”

Randall reminded the jury that Vital was unsure and inconsistent when he took the stand to testify during trial, making his statement one that should not be trusted. The victim showed genuine signs of distress in her testimony, Randall said, and her statement in court echoed the statement she gave to law enforcement over two years ago, making hers one that should be trusted.

“(Vital’s) reasons for acting the way he did (by claiming he wanted to make sure the victim was clean) are simply unreasonable and perverse,” Randall said.

Family of Greenfield addressed Collins before she was sentenced to life

SENTENCING UPDATE: Family of Greenfield addressed Collins before she was sentenced to life

At Victoria Collins’ sentencing hearing June 16, family members of Gary Greenfield didn’t shy away from telling Collins how her selfish actions destroyed their lives.

Collins murdered Greenfield, her longtime lover and tenant, and his body was found on July 29, 2015, highly decomposed, wrapped in a tarp and underneath a piece of privacy fencing.

Toxic levels of sleeping pills were found in his system, but medical examiners were never able to determine his exact cause of death due to the length of time the body had been exposed to the elements.

Victoria Collins, 59, gets fingerprinted after her sentencing hearing June 16. She will spend life in prison for the murder of Gary Greenfield.

A jury convicted Collins for first-degree murder on June 16 after a two-week trial, prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Hope Pattey and Kristie Ducharme. A mandatory life sentence was imposed the same day by Judge Harb.

Greenfield’s sister, Elaine Cemonuk, talked about how her brother was vibrant and had the energy of 10 4-year-olds.

She spoke about Greenfield’s generosity and how he would give family his last dollar or the coat off his back.

His involvement in their family was crucial, and Cemonuk said, his death left a gaping hole in their lives, especially the life of his mother.

“You took away the joy of her last holidays,” Cemonuk said, turning to face Collins.

Cemonuk said Collins left her mark on four special dates in their family: Collins’ arrest warrant was issued on Cemonuk’s son’s birthday, Cemonuk was subpoenaed on her daughter’s birthday, Greenfield was laid to rest on Cemonuk’s birthday, and Collins called The Ledger on Greenfield’s birthday.

“She (Greenfield’s mother) did not celebrate any of these and cried harder on these days,” Cemonuk said.

Greenfield’s mother had severe health problems, and the stress of wondering how and why her son died caused her to deteriorate quicker.

“She died (15 months later) with a broken heart,” she said.

“You are the most evil, cold and despicable person I have ever met,” Cemonuk said to Collins. “I’m glad you’ll be taken out of society so you will never be a threat to anyone ever again.”

In addition to addressing Collins, Greenfield’s family also spoke about his vigor for life and the way he’d leave a smile on the face of each person he interacted with.

“It was a rare occasion to find him sad,” Cemonuk said, addressing Judge Harb. “But if you were sad, he’d pick up your spirits in minutes.”

Greenfield’s niece, Michelle Kalen, told Harb that her uncle would do everything in his power to help his loved ones take a bad situation and make it better.

“He could be falling apart, but if you called him, he’d do whatever it took to make that happen,” Kalen said. “It didn’t matter how long or what it took. He’d make it happen.”

Greenfield was the firstborn in their family, and Cemonuk said, he always watched out for them.

She offered her sympathies to Collins’ family but said she still has not accepted her brother’s death and may never be able to do so.