Searching for sex in a classified ad is nothing new. However, access to the internet has changed the dynamics somewhat, and it allows for far-reaching options when it comes to sexual propensities. What’s important to keep in mind, however, is that a sex crime is still a sex crime, even on the Internet.
Missouri residents should remember that anonymity online is usually fleeting. Perpetrators of cyber crime are found through various electronic means. Crimes of a sexual nature, particularly those involving children, are an investigative focus of police departments everywhere. A swift, thoughtful defense strategy can help to reduce the long-term consequences dealing with these types of allegations can provoke.
St. Louis County police, along with U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and the St. Charles County Cybercrime Unit worked together in an operation that resulted in the arrest of a local man. According to court records, an undercover detective pretending to be 18 years old placed an ad on Craigslist that he was looking for a sexual encounter. The defendant, 51, responded. The officer then told him he was really 14. The accused still wanted to meet, allegedly thinking he was reassuring a child that he was experienced with teenage boys.
Reportedly, they agreed to meet, and the resulting arrest took place. An aggressive prosecution at trial in a situation like this might be successful in achieving the maximum penalties child sexual abuse crimes entail. If avoiding trial is a better plan, effective negotiations can help improve the outcome for the defendant, and satisfy the court.
This defendant pleaded guilty to a felony charge of using interstate facilities to send a minor’s information with sexual activity intent. The judge sentenced him to five years in jail.
Regardless of the nature of criminal allegations, an individual’s rights through the process must be protected. He or she is entitled to the best defense possible that may help with fallout to work, families and reputations. It’s helpful to have the benefit of an experienced, skillful approach to evaluating the options available.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Former Boy Scout volunteer who sought sex with a minor on Craigslist gets 5 years” Susan Weich, May. 07, 2014