A Florida man could be the first offender to face the death penalty under the state’s new law that expanded capital punishment to include people who sexually abuse children.
Joseph Andrew Giampa, 36, was indicted Thursday for six counts of sexual battery upon a person under 12 years old and three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child, according to the Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.
Giampa was allegedly filmed sexually abusing a young boy.
State Attorney William Gladson announced that his office will pursue the death penalty given the “severity of the crime and its impact on the community.”
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“The decision to pursue the highest penalty reflects the gravity of the charges and the State Attorney’s Office’s dedication to holding criminals accountable for their actions,” he said in a statement. “The State Attorney’s Office acknowledges the sensitivity of this matter and the impact it has on the community. Our commitment to ensuring justice and protecting the vulnerable remains unwavering.”
Giampa was arrested last month after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office identified him as the man seen in a homemade video allegedly found on Giampa’s laptop raping a young boy, according to court records. The man is heard in the video saying he knows the boy did not enjoy the abuse, but that he “likes it more when [the victim] does not like it.”
He has pleaded not guilty in this case.
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The heightened penalty for sex crimes in Florida comes after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills into law this past spring expanding capital punishment.
DeSantis signed a bill in April allowing the death penalty when the jury reaches an eight to four decision to recommend capital punishment. Florida and Alabama are now the only two states that allow death sentences when a jury fails to reach a unanimous recommendation.
In May, the governor signed another bill expanding capital punishment in the state to allow the death penalty for some sexual crimes against children.
If Giampa is given the death penalty, he would be the first offender who committed sex crimes against children to be sentenced to death.
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