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What Constitutes an Internet Sex Crime Against a Minor in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Internet sex crimes defense attorney

Today’s children have access to an overwhelming amount of technology and electronic devices. They do not know a world without smartphones, computers, or tablets. Teenagers, as well as young children, spend hours online playing games or browsing websites, videos, and social media pages. Easy access to the Web can make children vulnerable to online predators and consequently, may become victims of Internet sex crimes such as child pornography. Any crime against a child is taken seriously in the state of Texas, and it is important to know the legal consequences if you are accused of such crimes.

Types of Internet Sex Crimes

The Internet is one of the most convenient and useful technology tools available today. People of all ages use it to find information on a variety of subjects. However, sometimes the Internet can entice users to participate in immoral and illegal activities. Sex crimes have become more common with the advent of the Internet and online chat rooms, but in some cases, a person can be falsely accused of such a crime. It is important to understand what constitutes an Internet sex crime against a minor in case you face these types of allegations.  

Following are some of the types of Internet sex crimes Attorney Darlina Crowder has experience and success defending:

  • Child pornography: This form of child sexual exploitation is defined by federal law as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons under the age of 18).
  • Child sexual exploitation: This kind of exploitation involves online networks and enterprises that manufacture, trade, distribute, and/or sell child pornography. Using the Internet to entice minors through online contact for the purpose of engaging them in sexual acts is a crime.
  • Cyberbullying and cyberstalking: This type of Internet crime can include the use of electronic communication to bully, harass, or scare someone. This is usually done via the Internet by posting or emailing intimidating or threatening comments.
  • Sexual Tourism: The FBI, along with domestic and international law enforcement personnel, investigates U.S. citizens who travel overseas to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children under the age of 18. These crimes are partly due to the convenience of international travel. Individuals can exchange information online about how and where to find child victims in foreign locations for the purposes of abduction or sex trafficking.

Texas Penalties for Online Crimes Against Minors

The consequences of Internet crimes against children vary depending on the act. In Texas, soliciting a minor online amounts to hefty fines, jail time, and registration as a sex offender if convicted. Under Texas law, the penalties for an online solicitation of a minor offense is a Class 3 felony, which can result in a punishment of two to 10 years in state prison along with a fine of up to $10,000. If the minor is under 14 years of age, the penalties can be upgraded to a Class 2 felony, which results in two to 20 years in prison.

Enticing and exploiting children for the purpose of sexual tourism for commercial profit and/or personal gratification is a serious crime. According to federal law, travel or tourism with the intent or purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a minor is a crime that is considered a Class B felony which incurs a fine of up to $20,000 and up to 30 years in prison, or both. If you are a citizen or a legal resident of the United States, you are bound by U.S. laws even if you travel to another country to engage in illicit acts with a minor.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, harassment due to cyberbullying or cyberstalking is either a Class A or B misdemeanor in Texas. If the perpetrator had a previous cyberbullying conviction or the victim was under 18, that is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This crime produces a fine of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year. A Class B misdemeanor can result in fines up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Contact a Plano, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

All types of crimes against children are taken very seriously in the state of Texas. If you are facing charges of any type of Internet sex crime against a minor, the skilled legal team at Crowder Law Firm PC will carefully review the details of your case and plan a strategic defense. A Collin County Internet sex crimes defense attorney can help you put your life back together. Call our office today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources: https://www.icactaskforce.org/Pages/About%20Us.aspx

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/DocViewer.aspx?DocKey=GV%2fGV.422&Phrases=internet%7ccrime%7cagainst%7cminor&HighlightType=1&ExactPhrase=False&QueryText=internet+crime+against+minor

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac

https://www.ovc.gov/publications/bulletins/internet_2_2001/NCJ184931.pdf

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/es/node/3951

 

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