If you’ve watched To Catch a Predator with Chris Hansen, you have a pretty good idea of what online solicitation of a minor is. However, it can be quite a bit simpler than the elaborate stings that the NBC Network sets up for reality television.
Online solicitation of a minor—anyone who’s under the age of 18—typically involves any conversation between an adult during which the adult solicits or asks the minor to meet with them to engage in a sexual act.
If you’ve been accused of online solicitation of a minor, it’s incredibly important that you talk to a professional who understands the law and the impact that a conviction can have on you. It’s in your best interest to work with an attorney who focuses on cases such as online solicitation of a minor because under Wisconsin law, the punishment (and long-lasting consequences of) a conviction can be incredibly harsh.
An online solicitation of a minor charge can be incredibly frustrating for defendants because it doesn’t require an actual sexual act to result in conviction. In the state of Wisconsin, someone can be convicted of a wide array of crimes related to online solicitation of a minor, including:
- Sending obscene or sexually explicit electronic messages
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime
- Soliciting a child for prostitution
- Exposing a child to harmful material or harmful descriptions or narrations
- Possession of child pornography
- Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children
- Transfer of obscene materials to minors
- Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion
- Sexual exploitation and other abuse of children
Some of these are crimes under Wisconsin law, while others are violations of federal law.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Online Solicitation of a Minor
You don’t have to talk to investigators. In fact, it’s probably best if you invoke your Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating yourself—even if you’re innocent (perhaps especially if you’re innocent)—because police and other investigators have been known to employ coercive tactics to get people to admit to things they haven’t really done.
It’s in your best interest to get in touch with a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer who understands the serious nature of sex crimes against children. Your lawyer will be able to give you the case-specific guidance you need to get the best possible outcome in your case
If you’ve been accused of online solicitation of a minor, call our team of Wisconsin child sex crime attorneys at 414-383-6700 or contact us online. We’ll give you a free case evaluation and begin developing your defense strategy right away.