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Online Solicitation of a Minor

Online Solicitation of a Minor, DuPage criminal defense lawyerThe days of luring a child into an unmarked van as a parent’s greatest fear when it comes to the sexual exploitation of children are long over. A groundbreaking study by the University of New Hampshire revealed that an astounding 13 percent of young people were sexually solicited by an adult online—and that not all these adults were necessarily classified as “online predators.”

An online predator is someone who acts on the solicitation, who seeks sex, for example, with a minor or who attempts to meet with the minor in person. Online solicitation, conversely, is the act of convincing a young person to chat online about sex or to share personal or vulgar information, such as a bra size, for example.

Internet Sex Crimes

One of the strangest findings in the study is the fact that the victims of such solicitation were rarely shaken by the exchange: two-thirds of children surveyed who had been victims of online solicitation did not view the situation as threatening or serious. Additionally, almost all children who had experienced such behavior were savvy enough to end the exchange easily and effectively. In the same way that the Internet is opening up new threats for children, children themselves are learning how to anticipate and react to such threats at the same pace.

Regardless, online solicitation of a minor is a crime. Roughly 4 percent of children surveyed reported that they were asked to share sexual pictures of themselves. In many places, this is considered a criminal request for child pornography, and can be treated as such in a court of law. In Illinois, a person can be charged with indecent solicitation of a minor if it can be established that the person intended to commit aggravated sexual assault or aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The law in Illinois provides that a person charged with solicitation of a minor can be charged with a slew of sex crimes, meaning that the prosecution has a wide range of options from which to choose when charging a person with the crime.

If you or someone you know has been accused of solicitation of a minor, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney Stephen A. Brundage by calling 630-260-9647 today.

Sources:

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/internet-crimes/factsheet_1in7.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K11-6

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