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Bradenton Beach sex-on-the-beach couple sentencing likely in June

MANATEE -- Attorneys in the Bradenton Beach sex-on-the-beach case will discuss a sentencing date Wednesday.

Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, were convicted May 4 on two counts each of lewd and lascivious behavior for having sex on Cortez Beach on July 20, 2014.

The convictions carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and require both to register as sex offenders.

The court will hold a status conference meeting Wednesday to discuss sentencing dates for Alvarez and Caballero.

"The sentencing hearing will probably be in June, if not then early July," said Anthony Dafonseca, assistant state attorney prosecutor.

The State Attorney's Office has said it will not seek the maximum penalty for either defendant, but is looking into jail time for both of them. Dafonseca said they'd seek a harsher punishment against Caballero, who has served prison time for cocaine trafficking.

The defendants were represented by attorney Ronald Kurpiers, but Alvarez will be represented at sentencing by Greg Hagopian, according to Dafonseca.

Hagopian said he didn't want to discuss the reason for Alvarez's switch. She had no criminal record before her conviction.

A few people filed letters on behalf of the defendants, saying the judge should take it easy on Alvarez and Caballero and not make them register as sex offenders.

"You are likening these two individuals to deplorable people who have actually taken advantage of or violated children," read a letter signed by Femi Olukoya.

"This state needs to grow up and that can start with you," read another letter.

The jury found the couple guilty after a 1 1/2 day trial and only 15 minutes deliberation. One of the witnesses took video of the two in July, showing Alvarez moving on Caballero in a sexual manner in broad daylight.

Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055 or at kirby@bradenton.com. You can follow her on Twitter@KateIrby.

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