Computer-Aided Solicitation of a Minor Defense

According to Louisiana law, the crime of computer-aided solicitation of a minor occurs in the following circumstances:

  • When an individual 18 years of age or older knowingly contacts or communicates, through the use of email, chat rooms, text messages, instant messages, etc… with a person who is under the age of 17 or a person reasonably believed to be under the age of 17, for the purpose of or with the intent to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce the person to engage or participate in sexual conduct or a crime of violence , or with the intent to engage or participate in sexual conduct in the presence of the person who has not yet attained the age of 17.
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  • When a person 17 years of age or older knowingly contacts or communicates, through the use of electronic textual communication, with a person who has not yet attained the age of 17 where there is an age difference of greater than 2 years, or a person reasonably believed to have not yet attained the age of 17 and reasonably believed to be at least 2 years younger, for the purpose of or with the intent to arrange for any third party to engage in sexual conduct.
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  • When a person 17 years of age or older knowingly contacts or communicates, through the use of electronic textual communication, with a person who has not yet attained the age of 17, or a person reasonably believed to have not yet attained the age of 17, for the purpose of recruiting, enticing, or coercing the person to engage in commercial sexual activity.

 
Criminal cases involving computer-aided solicitation of a minor have exploded in recent years, because of the rise of the Digital Age as well as the zeal of the federal government and law enforcement community to find potential child predators. This offense is always considered a felony and the repercussions of a conviction often result in prison time, fines, and registration as a sex offender.

Some critics say the aggressiveness of law enforcement cybercrime units borders on entrapment, resulting in most defendants never interacting with an actual minor and the alleged offense being a victimless crime.

These cases are complex and involve a lot of data. In Louisiana, conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum 10 years without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. It also requires mandatory registration as a sex offender, a status that can strip you of many basic rights.

Defending computer-aided solicitation of a minor charges

An experienced defense attorney can reduce or eliminate your charges. Many cases involve police officers posing as young children. There are countless cases in which police crossed the line from a legitimate investigation into entrapment, violating the accused’s’ rights. Prosecutors must prove intent in computer-aided solicitation cases.
If you were communicating with a legitimate minor, circumstances may still play into your favor:

  • Did you receive a photo from the alleged victim?
  • Did it appear that the so-called minor was older, perhaps an adult?
  • Did he (or she) claim to be an adult?
  • Did the alleged victim use language that would suggest he (or she) was older than the actual age cited by law enforcement?

 

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney New Orleans Today

Computer-aided solicitation of a minor is a difficult charge to fight, but not impossible. The law office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter can offer help. Contact our downtown New Orleans office today for a consultation.