Published on June 24th, 2014 | by Daniel Perlman0
Online Solicitation of a Minor
Internet sex crimes encompass a variety of offenses among which is the solicitation of a minor for sex. Solicitation typically involves an adult over the age of eighteen purposefully luring or enticing a child into committing a sexual act or meeting with the purpose of a sexual encounter. Most often, various forms of social media, such as Facebook, chat rooms, etc., are the channels through which the victims are contacted. The victims of these crimes are especially vulnerable due to their youth and inexperience.
Both California and the federal government deal harshly with online sexual predators. You can be prosecuted by the United States government, as well as by the state of California, for engaging in solicitation of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. If the minor is a resident in another state, that state can prosecute you as well. With a conviction of this very serious crime, a person faces decades in prison as well as mandatory registration as a sex offender.
State and federal authorities are now sometimes employing sting operations due to the substantial increase of this type of crime. Law enforcement officers will pose as a minor and exchange messages with adults. Adults requesting inappropriate images of the minor, or asking the minor to meet in person for any type of sexual activity, will face criminal charges for solicitation of a minor. In some sting operations, police will actually show up at an arranged meeting place and arrest the adult when they arrive.
To be convicted doesn’t require that actual sex with the minor occurs, and the person contacted doesn’t have to be a minor. It’s sufficient to convict a person of solicitation of a minor if that person believed the victim was a minor and attempted to arrange for a meeting with the victim in California or in another state.
Legal Penalties for Solicitation of a Minor
The legal penalties for conviction of solicitation of a minor in California can be harsh. Persons convicted of arranging a meeting over the internet with a minor with the intent to engage in a sexual activity could receive a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine up to $5,000. Actually meeting the minor in person may result in a sentence in state prison and payment of substantial fines. Criminal prosecution in other states, as well as by the federal government, may also result for defendants involved in online solicitation. If you have been accused of a sex crime please call our Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers.
Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman