Solicitation of a Minor: A Major Sexual Crime
Solicitation of a minor, or child enticement, is the deliberate persuasion, enticement or invitation of a a person who is below the age of 16, to enter a home, a vehicle, an office, or any form of dwelling for the purpose of engaging in a sexual activity (such as fondling, molestation, sodomy, or sexual assault) or to have sexual intercourse. The mere attempt to solicit or entice a child can also result to solicitation charges even though the offense is actually never getting carried out.
Many states prosecute sex crimes committed on minors very aggressively. Besides possibly mandating a criminal to register as a sex offender (for the rest of his/her life), anyone convicted can also face up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.
Time in jail and cost of fines will significantly increase if solicitation of a minor is charged at the federal level. According to the United States Department of Justice, Section 2422(a) and (b) of Title 18 of the United States Code, solicitation of a minor can be charged on:
- “Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both;” and,
- “Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.”
Upon release from federal prison, if a convicted felon fails to register as a sex offender, he/she could be charged with a separate crime that carries up to 10 years imprisonment and considerable fines.
As explained in the website of the law firm Horst Law, “Sexual crimes involving children almost always have heavy criminal implications and if a person accused of solicitation of a minor or other sexual offense does not start building a defense immediately, the chance they will face serious criminal punishments rises significantly. Any sex crime is considered a felony and with that entails the possibility of jail time. The official level of a solicitation of a minor offense often varies with what the accused was trying to solicit from the minor. In many instances, the level of felony charged will be one degree lower than that of the crime being solicited. Some of the most common criminal penalties that people accused of solicitation of a minor face include:
- Soliciting a minor to observe sexual conduct – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight to 30 years.
- Aggravated sexual exploitation – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight and 30 years.
Each picture, performance, or sexual request can signify a separate count of solicitation of a minor. As a result, the penalties for child sex abuse can quickly stack up if not adequately defended against.”