Ocala felony case resolved: 20-year prison term for sexual battery

A longstanding felony case was resolved Friday at the Marion County Judicial Center in Ocala.

State v. Chad Joseph Lanier

The hearing was held Friday: On Friday, Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti accepted a plea bargain that was worked out between defense lawyer Gregg Brennan and Assistant State Attorney Barbara Harris regarding Chad Joseph Lanier.

The sentence: The 42-year-old Ocklawaha man, who pleaded no contest, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation, for two counts of sexual battery on a person age 12-18.

Reduction in time: Lanier has 990 days of credit for time already served at the Marion County Jail awaiting resolution of this case.

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More incarceration possible: Appearing by Zoom from the jail, Lanier was told he could be a candidate for further incarceration based on the state's Jimmy Ryce Act. Upon his release, Lanier must register as a sexual predator.

What is the Jimmy Ryce act? According to the state Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability:

"The Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators' Treatment and Care Act, Ch. 394 Part V, F.S., provides for the civil confinement of a group of sexual offenders who, due to their criminal history and the presence of mental abnormality, are found likely to engage in future acts of sexual violence if they are not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment."

Lanier already has been deemed a sexual offender from a previous sex offense where adjudication was withheld.

How this case started: In this case, Lanier was arrested in 2020 when the victim told law enforcement officials that she was molested by Lanier.

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: 20-year prison term imposed in Ocala sexual battery case