Online solicitation of a minor, defined as anyone who is under eighteen years of age, usually involves the conversations taking place between an adult throughout which this adult solicits the minor or asks him/her to meet with them with the intention of engaging in inappropriate sexual acts.
If you have been blamed of soliciting a minor online in Virginia, it is very important that you consult a sexual crime lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of the law and also knows the negative impact a conviction can have on your life and future. It is in your very best interests that you work with a lawyer who specializes in cases like the online solicitation of a minor as under Virginia law, the penalty along with the long-lasting consequences this conviction will have are going to be extremely harsh.
The online solicitation charge of a minor is also very frustrating as the actual accomplished sexual act is not required in order to charge the perpetrator. The mere discussion or the solicitation is enough to send one behind the bars for as long as seven years along with the registration as a sex offender, marring one’s reputation for a lifetime. The numerous crimes related to the online solicitation of a minor comprise of the following:
- The sexual exploitation and/or abuse of children
- Sending of sexually explicit and/or obscene electronic messages to children
- Sexual trafficking of minors either by force and/or coercion and/or fraud
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- The transfer of obscene pornographic materials to minors
- Using a computer or other electronic device to facilitate sex crimes against minors
- Obscene representations of sexual abuse of minors visually
- Being in possession of minor pornography
- Exposing a minor to obscene materials and/or narratives
In the state of Virginia, sexual crimes which involve minors have always been prosecuted extremely harshly. If you have been convicted of crimes which are sexual in nature and also involve a minor, you might face a long-term imprisonment; highly heft fine payments and a lifetime registration as a sexual crime offender. However, when a person is charged with the solicitation of a minor at the federal level, the prison time along with the fines tend to increase fairly significantly.
Under the United States Code 18 Section 2422 and Section 2423, a person can and will be charged for solicitation of a minor online by the federal government if they are involved in any of the following acts:
- ‘Knowingly persuade, induce, entice or coerce any minor to travel across state or international borders to engage in prostitution or any unlawful sexual activity, or attempt to do so;
- Use mail or any other means (including the Internet) or means of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly persuade, induce, entice or coerce any minor to engage in any unlawful sexual activity, or to attempt to do so;
- Knowingly transport a minor across state or international borders to engage in unlawful sexual activity; OR
- Travel across state or international borders to engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.’