What You Should Know About Online Sex Crimes

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal sex crime defense attorneyThe issue is not new and is, in fact, as old as the internet itself,  but sexually-based crimes committed on the internet have garnered more professional and social attention as of late. The most notorious internet sex crimes—and the most commonly perpetrated—are the production and dissemination of child pornography. There are, however, many other types of online sex crimes as well.

For example, soliciting chats of a sexual nature from any vulnerable person, including a child or anyone who is unable to make the decision for him or herself, is considered an Internet crime. Inappropriate solicitation can take the form of asking the person to send a sexual photo of him or herself, or asking a minor to meet somewhere with sexual intentions.

The Prevalence of Online Sex Crimes

Statistics show that these types of crimes have steadily increased in recent years with the proliferation of the internet and as more and more teens spend increasing hours online. At least 13 percent of internet users under the age of 18 have reported having been the subject of unwanted sexual solicitations online, and 9 percent have found distressing sexual material while browsing the web.

Internet sex crimes can be perpetrated by strangers or someone a minor knows personally. Sexual abuse of young people via smartphones is especially common, with a full 15 percent of people aged 12 to 17 who own cell phones reporting having received a nude or semi-nude sexual photo from someone they know via text.

Federal Prosecution for Online Sex Crimes

The interstate and international nature of the internet places online crimes under the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement agencies. This means that virtually any internet-based sex crime can be prosecuted in federal court. As federal crimes, internet sex offenses such as child pornography often carry mandatory minimum prison sentences for a conviction, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for a sex crime also has long-term social and personal consequences, as offenders are often added to local, state, and national sex offender registries. With these potential consequences in mind, it is critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in federal court if you have been accused of committing an internet sex crime.

Contact a Chicago Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer

A conviction on federal charges related to online sex crimes will almost certainly change your life forever. For more information about building a strong defense, contact a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation and review of your case today.


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