In prosecuting criminal charges related to Internet crimes, authorities sometimes re-characterize the circumstances of an online communication to suggest that the defendant had bad intentions.
There is an inherent ambiguity in communicating solely through chat rooms, instant messaging and emails, and unfortunately an Internet user’s words or images can be taken out of context to suggest that a crime has been committed. The risk is particularly high in cases involving allegations of Internet solicitation of a minor.
These issues may come up in the defense of a Missouri man accused of communicating sexually with a teenage girl in another state. Local authorities were contacted by the girl’s parents after she received adult toys and nude photos allegedly sent by the Missouri man.
Authorities in Rhode Island contacted police in Missouri, and they executed a search warrant and seized a laptop computer and two mobile devices. The police claim to have found nude photos of a 15-year-old girl, and the 22-year-old Missouri man was arrested. He now faces felony charges of enticement of a child younger than 15 and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Sometimes young people misrepresent their age to older individuals, and anyone facing a criminal charge as a result has a right to tell his or her side of the story. An Internet sex crime conviction can have long-term consequences for a defendant, including a potential jail sentence and difficulty finding employment. If you have been charged with such an offense, then a criminal defense attorney with experience in this area of law can assess your case and explain your options.