A sex crime conviction can result in devastating punishments that follow you for the rest of your life. Besides prison time and fines, you may be required to publicly register as a sex offender. Even the accusation of a sex crime may be enough to ruin your reputation. The growth of the internet has increased the ways people can be accused of sex crimes, and the digital trail left on a computer makes it easier to gather evidence. There are several types of internet-related sex crimes you can be charged with.
The possession of child pornographic materials is a serious offense. Illinois law defines child pornography as:
- Any visual medium, including videos and pictures;
- Involving someone younger than 18 or with a severe mental disability; and
- Depicting nudity or a sexual act, either actual or simulated.
Because of the ability to communicate and share media using the internet, child pornography possession charges originating from a computer can lead to additional charges of distribution of child pornography and exploiting children. Minors can also be charged with child pornography possession and distribution if they are sexting, the process of sending sexually explicit images of themselves using a messaging application.
The most common defenses against child pornography charges include:
- The defendant reasonably believed that the subject was at least 18 years old or did not have a severe mental disability; or
- The defendant did not voluntarily receive the materials and did not have enough time to dispose of them.
A person can be charged with sexual exploitation of child if he or she:
- Engages in or solicits a sexual act with a child;
- Exposes him or herself to a child; or
- Coerces a child into exposing him or herself.
Exploitation can occur in person or virtually if there is a visual element, such as a web cam. Again, one of the most common defenses is that the defendant could not have reasonably know that the other party was a child.
Police are aware of many of the websites prostitutes use to solicit customers and will set up sting operations on those sites. A police officer may pose as a prostitute or customer in order to catch offenders. Police often wait until they meet the offender in person before they make an arrest, but soliciting prostitution and making arrangements online is enough to charge someone. If charged, a defendant can sometimes argue that police used illegal tactics such as entrapment during the sting.
Fighting Sex Crime Charges
If you have been accused of committing a sexual offense, you need a DuPage County sex crime defense attorney to represent you. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has the experience as a criminal defense lawyer to help you with your case. Schedule an consultation by calling 630-260-9647.