A Seminole man was sentenced to 20 years in a Florida state prison today for molesting two (2) girls he lured through MySpace.Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne S. Timmerman also ordered Edward Oberwise, 40, to serve 10 years of Sexual Offender probation when he is released.The judge was outraged at Oberwise’s apparent lack of remorse – the defendant only mentioned he was sorry after repeated promptings by Timmerman.
“You are sorry you got caught,” Timmerman said. “I have no sympathy.”
The sentence was the maximum Timmerman could impose under an agreement prosecutors struck with Oberwise in exchange for him waiving his right to a Jury Trial.
Timmerman found Oberwise guilty of five (5) counts of Lewd and Lascivious Battery in August. Without the cap, Oberwise faced up to 75 years in prison.
The girls were 12 and 14 when the crime occurred. The Tampa Tribune does not identify the victims of sex crimes.
In a letter read by her mother, the older victim said she was still having nightmares and flashbacks about the incident and cringes every time she drives by the parking lot where the assaults occurred.
The younger girl and her mother didn’t speak. But at trial, the girl testified that she met Oberwise through her MySpace page and the two began to text and e-mail.
She agreed to meet him at a park near her FishHawk Ranch home and took her older friend along because she didn’t want to meet him alone.
The pair said they sneaked out of their homes and met Oberwise on Jan. 3, 2008. He drove them to a nearby grocery store parking lot.
Oberwise molested one girl in the back seat while the other stayed in front acting as a lookout, testimony showed. The girls then exchanged places.
Ultimately, the younger girl’s mother discovered the relationship while checking her daughter’s cell phone. Deputies then set up a recorded conversation between the girl and Oberwise in which he admitted the sexual conduct.
During his bench trial, Oberwise denied any sexual activity. He admitted meeting the girls but said he left because they were so young.
Oberwise testified the girls stole $15 in beer money and that he only admitted to the sexual conduct during the recorded conversation because he was mad about the theft.
During that call, the girl set up a second meeting. Oberwise was arrested when he arrived at that meeting.
The Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handles Internet and Sex Crimes throughout the State of Florida. If you or a loved one has been arrested for one of these offenses, you should speak with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately.
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