Social relationships are a large part of a young adult’s life. Between the ages of 20 to 35 years old intimacy is very important in this stage.
Partnership is usually at the forefront of a young person’s mind and lacking in that area can lead to social isolation and withdrawal. Having the ability to form long or even short-term intimate relationships is important at this time.
In the fall of 2004 Jeremy Dewitte was four months away from turning 25 years old. In need of a social outlet he went to a nightclub in Orlando, Florida on October 1, 2004. This was when he met a young lady who stated she was 18 years old. Jeremy and the young lady were intimate that night.
They saw each other again on November 1, 2004 according to court documents.
On January 10, 2005 a warrant was issued for Jeremy Dewitte for two charges of lewd or lascivious battery on a minor between the ages of 12 and 15.
Both charges were second-degree felonies in the state of Florida and were punishable by up to 15 years in prison for each charge. Jeremy was given a bond of $2500 and was ordered to have home supervision.
These two charges originated from the encounter Jeremy had with the young lady in the Orlando nightclub on October 1, 2004. She was not an 18 year old woman. She was a 15 year old girl and lied about her age.
It’s unclear if Jeremy learned the truth before or after they were intimate.
On January 18, 2005 attorney Michael Gibson was retained again by Jeremy Dewitte. Jeremy appeared in court with his attorney and he was told not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 with the exception of his brother Dylan Vogt, who was a minor at the time. Jeremy was also not to have any contact with the victim.
On February 10, 2005, the State of Florida officially filed charges against Jeremy Dewitte. It should be noted February 10, 2005 was also Jeremy’s 25th birthday. On February 17, 2005 the State made the defense aware it was being prosecuted as a sex crime.
March 7, 2005 was the day Jeremy pled not guilty to all charges. But on July 19, 2005 Jeremy Dewitte entered a plea and was determined by the judge to be guilty on one count of lewd or lascivious battery on July 20, 2005. Count two was not pursued by the prosecutor and the plea of not guilty by Jeremy Dewitte on March 7, 2005 was withdrawn.
Instead of facing up to 15 years in prison he was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in the Department of Corrections with time served for 31 days plus 5 years of sex offender probation. This was a stipulated downward departure, meaning a judge agreed to depart from the applicable sentence and gave the defendant a lesser sentence.
It should be noted the first judge in this case was Judge Renee Roche. She is also a judge for at least one of Jeremy Dewitte’s current 2019-2020 cases.
Jeremy was fingerprinted on July 20, 2005 and he was given special conditions for sex offender probation. For nearly three years there was very little activity in Jeremy Dewitte’s life. He had a few minor traffic tickets but there wasn’t anything else that would stand out.
On May 5, 2008 defense attorney Eric H. Dubois filed a motion to modify the conditions of Jeremy’s sex offender probation. At this time Jeremy only had two more years of his special probation but he hired Eric Dubois to decrease the severity of or eliminate the probation.
Probation is seen as a second chance, an alternative to imprisonment. The courts already agreed to a downward departure in the case and on May 21, 2008 the motion to modify was denied.
On June 24, 2008 Eric Dubois filed another motion to modify the conditions of Jeremy Dewitte’s sex offender probation. Finally on July 8, 2008 the court granted the motion to modify but not eliminate the conditions of his probation.
On March 7, 2009 an arrest affidavit for violation of probation was drawn up and on April 1, 2009 a warrant was issued for Jeremy Dewitte. On April 3, 2009 Jeremy had an in-jail arraignment and he was given no bond.
During a hearing on June 18, 2009 Jeremy Dewitte admitted he violated his sex offender probation. Jeremy was again given a downward departure and instead of facing 8 years and 3 months in prison he was to only serve 4 years with 109 days credited.
It should be noted the judge in the violation of probation hearing was Judge Julie O’Kane. She described Jeremy Dewitte as alert and intelligent. She is also one of the judges on at least one of Jeremy Dewitte’s current 2019-2020 cases.
During this hearing information about Jeremy Dewitte’s desire to build a youth team was revealed. Apparently he had attempted to start a junior varsity airsoft military simulation team while his sex offender probation was active and after he became a registered sex offender.
Jeremy Dewitte said he took full responsibility for what he had done and he made a point of only apologizing to an Officer Franks and an Officer Culerlay for lying to them.
He was then carted off to Graceville Correctional Facility in Jackson County, Florida, five hours away from Orlando, Florida.