A Bradenton couple accused of having sex in the open on a public beach in Manatee County have been found guilty in court.
Elissa Alvarez, 20, and Jose Caballero, 40, were charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition stemming from an encounter on Cortez Beach just after 8 p.m. on July 20, 2014.
The Bradenton Herald reports that jurors heard graphic testimony from people who witnessed the couple.
Caballero told jurors that he and Alvarez were not having sex and that witnesses were mistaken.
Witnesses video tapped the couple and called 911 to complain that they were acting inappropriately in front of families enjoying a Sunday afternoon at the beach.
They face up to 15 years in prison, $10,000 fines and becoming registered sex offenders.
Caballero’s mother, who did not want her name mentioned, said “There are worse things out there that we need to worry about and they are still loose people who have done worse stuff.”
Fifteen years is the maximum punishment allowed by law.
Caballero also served in the past for trafficking cocaine. His girlfriend doesn't have any priors and her defense attorney hopes she gets a lighter sentence.
Defense attorney Ronald Kurpiers said he's arguing for a probationary sentence.
Alvarez’s father wept at the thought of his daughter going to prison.
"She's a good girl - she's never done anything like this," he said.