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Internet Luring of a Child

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney

Internet Luring of a Child

Charges of Internet luring of a child typically involve an undercover sting operation and a volunteer or law enforcement officer posing as a teenager. Many remember the Dateline: To Catch a Predator series, in which men were lured to a home with cameras and recorded during the initial stages of what they thought was a sexual encounter with a teenage girl. The result has been an explosion of such cases thanks to law enforcement investigations that are conducted in complete disproportion to the problem. Pittsburgh defense attorney, Blaine Jones, represents clients who are being accused of acting inappropriately with a child online, including cases where Internet luring of a child is alleged.

Internet Chat Room Crimes

Online solicitation of a child often begins in a Chat Room or other Social Media environment. Ultimately, investigators track your Internet ISP address, and obtain your location. Typically, such investigations are conducted over several months. Warrants are often obtained to monitor e-mail accounts and other movements of a suspect. Once the suspect and "victim" establish a meeting location, law enforcement stakes out the location and records what follows. Additional search warrants are obtained to seize computer equipment and other information.

Entrapment – Internet Sting Operations – Child Sex Crimes

Suspects should remain silent and contact an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer at the earliest possible stage of such cases. You are not going to talk your way out of trouble. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. The good news is there are many avenues of defense. Often these cases are presented to law enforcement by a third-party watchdog organization, or online volunteers looking for criminal activity. Thus, probable cause can be weak from the start. Additionally, there are multiple search warrants and affidavits that should be scrutinized and challenged. And the conduct of investigators and arresting officers must be reviewed.

Entrapment can be a defense in some cases. Sociologists already know and understand that most of us have reduced inhibitions in the online world. This can be exacerbated when an officer or investigator attempts to get a suspect to engage in criminal activity. When a suspect is coaxed into committing a crime he might not otherwise commit, an entrapment defense may apply.

Lastly, Pennsylvania laws involving sex offenses are among the most subjective on the books. Many can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. How you are charged can have a dramatic impact on the potential penalties and whether or not you are forced to register as a sex offender or a sexually violent predator. 

Each case is unique, and consulting with a defense attorney experienced in handling cyber crimes and criminal charges involving the sexual exploitation of a child is the best bet to protect your rights and your freedom.

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