With the internet being widely used by people of all ages all around the world, there has been a growing concern that individuals will utilize this tool to commit sexual offenses. In response to this concern, several laws have been passed to protect children and other vulnerable parties from online sexual exploitation. As a result, there has been an increase in arrests and registrations of online sex offenders in the past few years.
However, what online behavior is considered a sexual offense? The most common forms of Internet-facilitated sexual offenses involve children and include:
- Viewing, trading, or creating child pornography to share online
- Contacting a child online for sexual chats or to solicit pornographic images of the child (such as the child posing nude)
- Arranging meetings to commit sexual offenses with a vulnerable party
Not only can the possession of child pornography break state law, but should pornographic images of children be distributed across state lines, charges can be bumped to federal offenses. If the intent of the action is proven, penalties can include heavy fines, long prison sentences, and registration as a child sex offender.
There are other types of cybersex crimes outside of those involving children and some are defined by the state rather than the federal government. Cyberstalking, prostitution, even human trafficking can take place online and come with their own intense penalties. There have also been reports of online rape occurring in sexual cyberspaces such as those used in the popular PC game World of Warcraft. There have also been instances where cybersex crimes spilled out into the real world and caused increased harm to the victims. In these cases, children and teens had been lured out of their homes and kidnapped, sexually assaulted, or even killed by a criminal they chatted with online.
Being accused of a sex crime can come with devastating consequences. If you are dealing with allegations of sex crimes, the team at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich is here for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.