On Friday the South Florida legal world was stunned to learn that accused cruise ship sexual assault perpetrator Oliver Lovatt rejected a plea deal which would have significantly reduced his potential jail time. Lovatt is facing serious charges stemming from allegations that he sexually assaulted a boy aboard a Disney cruise ship earlier this year.
Prosecutors offered Lovatt considerably favorable terms: reducing two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation to a charge of misdemeanor battery and giving him credit for time served. Lovatt rejected the deal, setting up a trial in which he will attempt to avoid a conviction on the charges and a minimum 25-year prison sentence.
So, why did Lovatt reject the deal? Initial reports indicate that not only did the 10-year-old victim report that Lovatt had purposely touched his genitals through his pants, but that there was also video evidence of the act. It would seem that such evidence would have been particularly strong, making a deal more likely.
It may not be proper to speculate as to Lovatt’s reasons for rejecting the deal. Defendants reject deals for any number of reasons, from being convinced of their own innocence to a belief that they can pull one over on the jury. Whatever his rationale, Lovatt’s trial is likely to start soon and a jury will decide whether his bet will pay off.