Daytona Beach, FL - The Fifth District Court of Appeals has ruled to uphold the 2019 convictions of 63-year-old Mark Fugler, who was found guilty of nine felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.
"I hope the Victim and family find some solace in the fact that the defendant will serve a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes," said State Attorney R.J. Larizza, who was part of the fight to keep Fugler in prison, along with Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Fugler was initially adjudicated guilty in June 2019 and was sentenced to 15 years in a state prison just two months after. However, a month after his sentencing, Fugler was granted a $200,000 bond while his convictions were under appeal.
That same month, local lawmakers Senator Tom Wright and Representative Tom Leek began to draft legislation that prohibited bail to "specified offenders pending review" following conviction of a sex crime involving a minor that required registering for an offender or predator status in the state.
"We had to fight to put Fugler back behind bars after he was set free on an appeal bond even after he was convicted," said Sheriff Chitwood on Twitter. "Today, anyone who commits a crime that requires sex offender registration will not be eligible for bail on post-trial motions or appeals. We can see how long these appeals can take to work through the system."
According to data from the Florida Department of Corrections, Fugler is due to be released in January 2034 at the age of 75.