After a short deliberation Friday, Florida state representative Bob Allen was found guilty of soliciting oral sex in a public bathroom. While he did not testify during the trial -- a decision made by his attorneys, MSNBC reports -- the fallen politico said that he is innocent of the charges and has done nothing wrong.
"My family, my God, and my constituents know that, and we're not going to stop until we get that justice," Allen said, according to MSNBC.
Moments after the verdict was announced, Florida house speaker Marco Rubio released a statement denouncing Allen and recommending that he be removed from his Merritt Island seat.
"This conviction makes it impossible for Representative Allen to represent responsibly the citizens of his district," he said in the statement. "Furthermore, it is my personal belief that it harms the reputation of the Florida house of representatives. We will now take the appropriate steps."
It would take a two-thirds vote in the legislature to unseat Allen, though the conviction carries no penalty for him as a lawmaker. It would take another two-thirds vote in the house to formally censure or reprimand him, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Daniel Kavanaugh, an undercover Titusville police officer, said Allen walked into his bathroom stall, closed the door, and agreed to pay him $20 for oral sex. Kavanaugh also said that he asked if Allen could give him another $20, to which Allen replied, "Sure, I can do that," and then suggested going to a more private place, according to MSNBC.
Allen's attorneys argued that the prosecution failed to prove that Allen broke the law. They said that he never specifically described the sex act and that he did not indicate a price.
Allen faces up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail on prostitution solicitation charges, but since it is his first charge, he may walk free. Prosecutors said they will argue for jail time, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Allen's attorney announced Friday that he will seek a new trial because of "prosecutorial misconduct," according to the report. Allen's sentencing is set for November 15, though it may be delayed because Florida law requires defendants in prostitution-related crimes to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases before sentencing. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the results of the STD test will be made public. (The Advocate)