Internet Sex Crimes

The internet—like the Wild West 150 years ago—is the latest frontier for law enforcement. Most internet sex crimes involve minors: downloading or uploading child pornography, using the internet to arrange for sexual contacts with people under the age of consent, or providing "obscene" material to children via email. Police and other authorities are cracking down with a vengeance. About 2,500 people are arrested each year for internet sex crimes against minors—and 25 percent of these arrests involve undercover officers, not victims. State investigators, local cops and the FBI are all in on the game, posing as sexually active children to see if they can get internet users to break the law. The internet is not anonymous and even hinting at having sex with minors can lead to life-changing criminal charges.

Lately, we have seen an increasing number of internet-based child pornography prosecutions by federal authorities. Agents can trace downloads even without emails or other unique proof, then execute a search warrant to confirm the existence of child pornography at a person's home. These searches usually lead to stiff jail sentences under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

As always in dealing with law enforcement, if you are searched it is vital not to give any statement until you speak to an attorney. If you have been accused of an internet sex crime—importing, possessing, or producing child pornography; persuading or enticing an adult or child to travel in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in prostitution; arranging a meeting with a child for sexual purposes—please call us at (212) 685-0999 right away for a free consultation.

For more information, see Internet Sex Crimes Against Minors: The Response of Law Enforcement.

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