Regarding Florida sex crimes, online solicitation generally refers to using the Internet (including email and chat rooms) to invite an underage boy or girl to participate in a sexual encounter.
It is a crime to solicit a minor, but it becomes a much more serious matter if you are accused of traveling to meet a minor. If after the initial solicitation in an online forum, the adult travels somewhere to talk with the minor in person, he or she is in danger of very severe penalties. Such penalties typically include a very lengthy prison sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Jonathan Rose represents individuals throughout Florida who have been accused of online solicitation or traveling to meet a minor. Mr. Rose is a former prosecutor who understands how law enforcement personnel often pose as youngsters in chat rooms, using sophisticated methods to lure potential “predators” into incriminating themselves. He also knows how to build a strong criminal defense to combat these serious charges.
A successful prosecution of such charges may turn upon the electronic conversations held between the accused and the supposed minor engaging in the communication. Law enforcement must prove that you were the individual actually attempting to lure or seduce a minor, and the electronic evidence must be seized lawfully. With the proliferation of modern technology, cellphones and other devices, it may be difficult to retrieve the data to be used as evidence or prove who used the device during the alleged conversation.
“Traveling to meet a minor” cases are frequently produced as a result of sting operations carried out by local law enforcement agencies. In these instances, many times the undercover agent turns an otherwise innocuous conversation or chat into something the accused did not intend or was not interested in. In these cases, the agent’s action may be entrapment and may be a complete defense to the charge.
Law enforcement must prove that the traveling was done to engage in a sexual act with a child, rather than for some lawful purpose. Further, there must be evidence that the accused seduced or persuaded the supposed child to engage in a sexual act.
Do not answer questions or respond to statements if contacted by law enforcement, even if you are promised reduced charges or that you will not be charged at all. Even a statement that you do not consider to be a confession can be extremely damaging to your defense.
To learn more about Jonathan Rose’s services in this area of law, please request an initial consultation. Call 407-894-4555, or contact the Orlando office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.