Bob Allen Hub

Florida Rep. Bob Allen Guilty in Oral Sex Solicitation Trial

Florida GOP Rep. Bob Allen, arrested last July after offering a plainclothes police officer $20 for the opportunity to performer oral sex in a public men's room, was found guilty of soliciting prostitution by a jury that deliberated for 3 1/2 hours on Friday.

Bob_allen_2Immediately afterwards, the Orlando Sentinel reports, fellow lawmakers began demanding his resignation.

Said Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio: "This conviction makes it impossible for Rep. Allen to represent responsibly the citizens of his district. Furthermore, it is my personal belief that it harms the reputation of the Florida House of Representatives. We will now take the appropriate steps."

The Tallahassee Democrat reports: "Florida law provides automatic expulsion for legislators convicted of felonies but not misdemeanors. Speaker Marco Rubio, who already stripped Allen of his Energy Committee chairmanship, said the House would act further if Allen didn’t resign. Allen listened to the verdict, watched the jury leave and reached into the gallery to touch his wife, who sat behind him all week. 'We’re going to continue to seek justice,' Allen said. 'I am innocent; I’ve done nothing wrong.'

Allen's conviction on the second-degree misdemeanor charge carries a possible sentence of 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine, which prosecutors say they intend to seek. Allen must also now undergo testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, the results of which will be made public.

As Bob Allen Trial Begins, Jury Tours Men's Restroom and Park

As Florida Rep. Bob Allen, his wife Beth, and Allen's attorneys watched from a distance, the jury in Allen's trial toured Space View Park in Titusville and the men's rest room where Allen's alleged solicitation took place. Allen was arrested in July after offering an undercover police officer $20 for the opportunity to perform oral sex in a public men's room.

BoballenFlorida Today reports: "The five women and three men also checked out the handicapped stall Allen is accused of entering to speak with Officer Daniel Kavanaugh. The layout of the park and restroom has been a key part of the testimony in Allen's trial, which continues today...Both the defense and prosecution had requested the jury make the 30-mile trip from the Moore Justice Center to the park. Afterward, the defense said the visit, which lasted under an hour, helped their case. 'I think it just drives it home,' defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger told reporters."

The latest excuse for why Allen was in the men's room (Allen previously claimed he was there because he was afraid of black men in the park and inclement weather) is that he has a small bladder: "State Rep. Bob Allen wasn't searching for sex when he entered a park bathroom five times in about an hour, he just needed to relieve himself after drinking too much iced tea, his attorney told jurors Wednesday during the first day of testimony in the legislator's trial on a charge of solicitation for prostitution. 'Unfortunately, nature does take its course,' said Greg Eisenmenger, who spent much of the afternoon grilling one of three Titusville police officers who played a role in Allen's arrest July 11 at Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville."

Lawyers have been arguing over what "hitting on someone" amounts to: "Allen attorney Greg Eisenmenger questioned how Jackson knew Allen was hitting on them. 'What was significant about someone looking at you?' Eisenmenger asked. 'From a men's restroom? There's something strange about it,' Jackson said. Jackson said he knew from a previous experience that men will look or stare at someone if they are trying to hit on them. Eisenmenger replied, 'Officer Jackson, I've been looking at you the entire time. Do you think I'm hitting on you?'... 'I don't know. Have you?' Jackson said, triggering laughter among the spectators."

Finally, one juror was released because she had a flight to catch.

With Jury in Place, the Trial of Florida Rep. Bob Allen Begins

Opening arguments began at 9 am today in the trial of Bob Allen, the Republican lawmaker from Florida who was who was arrested in July after offering an undercover police officer $20 for the opportunity to perform oral sex in a public men's room. According to Florida Today, "The second-degree misdemeanor brings with it a potential 60 days in jail and a $500 fine."

Bob_allenThe site reports that three men and three women were chosen for the jury: "The jurors include a Christian school teacher, a county parks and recreation employee, a Florida Power & Light employee and a retired bookkeeper. One of the eight jurors is black. In addition to the questions about prostitution, prosecutors asked potential jurors Tuesday about biographical information -- their previous experiences in the courts, with law enforcement and their knowledge of Space View Park in Titusville, where the alleged proffer occurred. Defense questions, meanwhile, pried into the ability of jurors to find a defendant not guilty if evidence presented in the trial either doesn't match or doesn't prove all the elements of the crime."

Last week the judge threw out inquiries Allen made upon his arrest (wondering if his "lawmaker" status might get him out of trouble). Earlier, the judge also ruled inadmissible Allen's controversial remarks that he was in the men's room because he was afraid of black men in the park.

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road.jpg Slow-going as jury selection enters day two for Florida Rep. Bob Allen: "It's "very unusual" for jury selection on a second-degree misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute to enter a second day, attorneys agreed. 'The typical misdemeanor trial would generally have jury selection concluded in a half-day or less, and some are done as quickly as an hour or two,' said Michelle Perlman, misdemeanor division chief for Brevard's State Attorney's Office. Many potential jurors were dismissed immediately after they said they believed Allen, accused in July of agreeing to pay an undercover police officer he encountered in a Titusville park bathroom $20 to perform a sex act, was guilty based on media accounts."

Judge Tosses "Legislator" Remark in Bob Allen Case

A judge hearing the case of Florida Rep. Bob Allen, who was arrested after offering an undercover police officer $20 for the opportunity to perform oral sex in a public men's room in July, has thrown out a remark Allen made during arrest, saying it "was not relevant to the misdemeanor charge of solicitation for prostitution."

Bob_allenFlorida Today reports: "Titusville police officers say Allen asked if his position as a lawmaker 'would help' after they arrested him July 11. Allen is accused of agreeing to pay an undercover officer $20 to perform a sex act. Allen’s attorneys say the Merritt Island Republican was misquoted."

Because "prosecutors are not charging Allen with any offense of bribery or misuse of authority," the statement is not relevant to the case, the judge wrote.

Allen's lawyer has asked the judge to throw out the remark at a hearing at the beginning of the month. Allen's trial begins Monday.

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road.jpg Florida Rep. and men's room-frequenter Bob Allen's trial begins on November 5th.

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