Among the many sex crimes involving a minor, one of the most common is Enticing or Soliciting a Minor. This crime occurs when an adult uses the Internet, especially social networking sites, to communicate with a minor. Often the government alleges that an adult entices or solicits a minor to meet the adult somewhere to have sex. In many cases, the “minor” is actually a law enforcement officer posing as a minor. A law enforcement officer posing as a minor might seem unfair or entrapment, but the law looks at the intent of the person committing the soliciting or enticing. It’s the same as if someone made a deal to buy cocaine from an undercover officer, even if the officer delivered baby powder, if the person intended to pay for cocaine, it’s a crime.
There is also an increase in the prosecution of human trafficking cases. These cases occur when a young girl from another country is kidnapped or coerced into coming to the United States under the guise of getting a job and sending money back to her family. Girls from Mexico will sometimes pay a coyote (smuggler) to bring them across the border, only to have the coyote tell them they owe additional money. When the young girl cannot pay the additional transportation fee they are forced into prostitution to pay the money back. Human trafficking cases are generally prosecuted in federal court.
How Aggressive is Law Enforcement with Their Sting Operations?
Law enforcement officers are very aggressive in their sting operations. Many police officers create profiles posing as underage minors and enter chat rooms and social media websites and troll for unsuspecting adults. Often the law enforcement agent or officer posing as a minor is very aggressive in conversing and wanting to meet with the adult. Undercover officers know the exact language to use in their communications for criminal charges to be taken.
Law enforcement officers are also very aggressive in prostitution stings. Often police officers will post ads advertising prostitution services on adult websites, such as Back Page. In these ads the undercover officer may post a photograph and use sexual language to suggest a sex date. The undercover officer will use a hotel room as a meeting place and once the meeting occurs the undercover officer will make an arrest for prostitution. Nothing in the law requires that these meetings be audio recording, but often they are recorded.
What Constitutes Aggravated Sexual Assault or Indecent Exposure?
Aggravated sexual assault of a child refers to having sexual relations or contact with a person under 12 years of age. The aggravating factor is often the child’s age. Indecent exposure occurs when someone exposes their genitals to someone else, including children. The crime of indecency with a child by exposure requires that someone intended to expose themselves for sexual gratification, whereas urinating in public and having a child happen to walk by isn’t necessarily indecent exposure.
For more information on Sex Offenses Involving Minors in Texas, call the Law Office of James Alston for a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (713) 228-1400 today.
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