State prosecutor determined to get sex crimes case to trial

Joseph Edmund Chiquet, who was arrested in July 2009 while residing in Bradenton Beach and charged with multiple counts of sex crimes involving a 15-year-old girl, has once again been declared competent to stand trial.

A jury trial is slated for mid-October, following an Aug. 13 hearing where the defendant was found competent to proceed by 12th Circuit Judge Charles Roberts.

Chiquet previously was deemed incompetent to stand trial and placed in a mental institution following arrest on eight felony charges, including multiple counts of lewd and lascivious sexual battery on a child 12-15 years; possessing child pornography; promoting sexual performance by a child; and promoting the sexual performance by a child in a movie or photograph.

Manatee County court records contain page after page of documents referring to continuances, motions for competency hearings, sealed competency results, testimony of doctors, court dates set for trial and court dates canceled for trial.

In addition, Chiquet’s bond was revoked on his original arrest after he allegedly attempted to coerce a former girlfriend and the mother of his son to say she appeared in the photos. Officials say he offered the woman $10,000, but she told prosecutors she refused the request.

Chiquet was again arrested in September 2010, charged with witness tampering and facing additional charges of contempt of court relating to the original arrest.

Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca stated in April that he was committed to bringing the case to trial in 2014 and that the complainant remained steadfast as well.

Dafonseca was not reached for comment about the most recent court date.

A call placed to Chiquet’s attorney by The Islander was not returned.

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