In an effort to catch child predators, state, local and federal law enforcement officers enter chat rooms pretending to be underage teens or older children. When a discussion thread turns sexual, undercover officers join the conversation feigning an interest in sexual experiences and a desire to meet with an older, interested person. If someone in the chat room responds and solicits sexual favors or arranges to meet with what they believe is an underage teen, the person’s IP address is recorded and a warrant issued in order to identify a home address and begin an investigation. The problem here, however, often revolves around the issue of entrapment: did an undercover officer attract illegal behavior or foment and encourage it?
If your child has been accused of a crime it is important that neither you or your children answer questions, make statements or consent to searches by law enforcement.
Call 732-247-3340 today for a free 30 minute consultation.
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Under Megan’s Law, if you’re convicted of the online solicitation of a minor, you’ll be under parole supervision for the rest of your life. You’ll also be required to serve at least 85% of your sentence before you are eligible for parole.
At the New Brunswick criminal defense office of Jack Venturi Law, we have years of experience in putting prosecutors on the defensive. We challenge the actions of officers and the version of events put forth by investigators and prosecutors. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case, contact computer sex crimes attorney at Jack Venturi Law today.
Police and prosecutors are interested in a conviction. They’re not interested in extenuating circumstances or evidence that contradicts their view that the accused is guilty. For example, the prosecution might allege that a defendant intended to have sex with what they believed to be an underage teen due to the fact that they arranged to meet with them.
However, if the suspect did not have condoms, drugs, alcohol, porn or other items associated with sexual activity on him at the time of his arrest, the prosecution may have a difficult time proving his intent was sexual. Further, if the prearranged meeting place was public in nature — a mall, a parking lot, a coffee shop — prosecutors may have difficulty establishing motive here as well.
While the courts have traditionally provided police with a fair amount of leeway with regard to undercover work and the issue of entrapment, it’s essential to scrutinize what a police officer said in a chat room leading up to an investigation or arrest. If the accused initially refused an interest in pursuing sexual suggestions or indicated such behavior was illegal and wanted to drop the topic, how officers guided the course of the conversation afterward is important. Did the officer push or encourage the online solicitation of a minor by continually forcing a conversation back into one of a sexual nature? Did the officer coax or plead with the defendant? These are important questions that may undermine the prosecution’s case against you.
Whether you’ve been charged with or are under investigation for the online solicitation of a minor, call 732-247-3340 email New Brunswick computer sex crimes attorney at Jack Venturi Law. We protect your rights and have the investigative resources needed to ensure that all the facts are taken into consideration and not just the ones offered by the prosecution.
Don’t talk to police investigators until you talk with us