Melbourne attorney Joseph Pallante III has been suspended until further notice following a Dec. 14 Florida Supreme Court order after he received two life sentences plus 90 years for repeated forced sex acts on a 12-year-old girl, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.

Pallante's suspension was effective 30 days from the state Supreme Court's two page order. The Florida Bar announced the discipline and the Supreme Court's order Jan. 29.

In Florida court orders are not final until the time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Pallante's suspension.

Pallante, 48 and a University of Miami School of Law graduate, was admitted to the Florida bar Sept. 16, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website. Pallante has had no other discipline before the state bar for at least 10 years, according to his profile.

The state Supreme Court's order came almost three years after Pallante, a former Brevard County deputy sheriff, was arrested by Indian Harbour Beach police outside his home in February 2014 on charges of molestation and sexual battery and booked into the Brevard County jail without bond. Pallante has been in custody ever since.

His trial started in August 2017 in the 18th Judicial Circuit in Viera where a jury found Pallante guilty in October of 42 counts of sexual battery of a child.

Pallente, testifying in his own defense, said the girl had lied and that prosecutors mistook a harmless nudist lifestyle with criminal activity.

Pallente was sentenced the following month by Circuit Court Judge Judge David Dugan and currently is serving his sentence at the Columbia Correctional Institution Annex, which houses adult male close custody inmates. Pallante's attorney, Greg Eisenmenger, filed a notice of appeal with the court.

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