There has been a steady increase in the number of internet sex crimes prosecuted in the U.S. Internet related sexual offending includes different crimes, but the largest number involves viewing, trading or producing child pornography. Other offenders use the internet to make contact with a person for sexual chat, exploitation or to arrange meetings to commit a sexual offense. Internet sex crimes run the gamut, ranging from intentional criminal acts to exercising momentary poor judgement.
Recently, a Janesville, Wisconsin woman was arrested in connection with the disappearance and sexual assault of a minor after meeting him online. The Wisconsin woman and the boy had apparently engaged in sexual chat over an xbox 360 online game. Subsequently, the woman allegedly traveled to the 14-year-old boy’s location in Texas and transported him back to Wisconsin where he was sexually assaulted. Although the case is still under investigation, the woman may face a maximum statutory penalty of not less than 10 years or up to life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release if found guilty.
In another internet sex crime case, which clearly illustrates how poor judgement can land you a world of trouble, a 19-year-old Indiana man was convicted of a sex offense after he used a dating app to meet a girl who lied about her age. She claimed she was 17 when in fact she was merely 14-years-old. Hoodwinked, the young man unknowingly got tangled-up in a criminal act and was sentenced to a 90 day jail sentence, five years probation and placed on a sex offender registry for 25 years.
The incidences of internet sex crimes are being reported daily – sometimes those accused of a crime did not weigh the consequences of their actions, perhaps believing they were acting in the accordance with the law. The best way to avoid being charged with a internet sex crime or sexual assault is to familiarize yourself with the law and avoid engaging in said behavior. With the current focus on prosecuting internet sex-crimes in this country, those charged with internet sex crimes are well advised to seek legal counsel immediately. The attorneys of Andrew C. Ladd, LLC can help. Contact us today.
Sources: FBI.gov, “Wisconsin Woman Remains in Federal Custody on Complaint Alleging She Transported a Minor Child to Another State to Engage in Sexual Activity”, accessed September 24, 2015.; CNN.com, “Judge Reconsidering Case of Teen on Sex Offender Registry”, by Kyra Phillips, David Fitzpatrick and Michael Martinez, accessed September 24, 2015.