Soliciting sex online is against the law, and these crimes are punished especially harshly when children are involved. A Maryland man learned this the hard way, when he was arrested for soliciting sex from who he thought was a teen boy. It turned out to be an undercover police officer.
The 25-year-old man from Randallstown was arrested on October 1 in Hanover after he tried to solicit sex from a Maryland State Police trooper posing as a 15-year-old boy. The trooper was monitoring an online dating application when the man initiated an online conversation on September 28.
The man suggested meeting with the trooper with the goal of having sex. The two agreed on a location and when the man arrived on the morning of October 1, he was subsequently arrested. The man has been charged with one count of sexual solicitation of a minor.
Solicitation of a minor is charged as a felony in Maryland. A person can be charged and convicted with this crime even if no physical contact occurs. Simply attempting to entice or encourage a minor to engage in sexual activity is considered a crime in the state whether it is done in person or online. It is punishable by years in prison and a person may be ordered ro register as sex offender in Maryland.
More commonly, solicitation of a minor is done online over the internet, on social media, in chat rooms, and through emails and text messages. Online solicitation of a minor is considered an internet sex crime and, depending on whether or not the crimes crosses state lines, may be charged as a federal offense. In this case, the charges and penalties are elevated.
More and more people are using the internet to solicit teens and young children. Not only do minors use the internet quite frequently, but many adults prefer to use the internet so they can stay anonymous. However law enforcement officials are well aware of the increase in online predators. As such, many investigators perform online sting operations in which they pose as minors. A person may think they are having a conversation with a teen, but in many cases, they are actually chatting with an undercover officer. However it is important to know that these sting operations are not always conducted to specific standards. This can open up the case to an entrapment defense, which can cause the charges to be dropped.
Soliciting minors online is a type of internet crime that comes with serious penalties. Maryland and other states punish sex crimes against minors harshly. As a result, prison time is common.
You need someone on your side who can create a strong defense and help you get a favorable outcome. The Columbia internet crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. will work aggressively to reduce your penalties. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.
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Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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