The explosion of social networking, online dating, and smartphone apps in recent years has brought along with it a new onslaught of sex crimes.
While most interactions on social media are harmless banter between family, friends, and even strangers, some interactions have a darker side.
If you have been accused of an online sex crime, you need to seek the immediate guidance of a skilled online sex crime lawyer.
Apps such as Tinder, OnlyFans, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish all have one thing in common: sex.
The purpose of these apps might be to unite individuals looking for a relationship, to just have fun, or to simply promote sexy pictures. And most users go onto these platforms with good intentions.
However, there will always be users who harbor nefarious intentions.
Unfortunately, even when your intentions are good, you may find yourself on the wrong side of an accusation.
If you have been accused of a sex crime that stemmed from social networking, you should seek the immediate assistance of an online sex crime attorney.
Even a mere allegation can damage your reputation and wreak havoc on your life.
Sex Crimes Online
Sex crimes online are taken just as seriously as sex crimes that happen in the real world.
Social networking makes it possible for individuals to do or say things they might not otherwise be inclined to do.
It is also an arena that allows people to post pictures or videos of themselves with the intention of attracting a date or partner.
The nature of these photos and forward actions can sometimes make it confusing for law enforcement to determine what is consensual and what is not.
Misbehavior on one of these apps could lead to these common charges:
- Unlawful sexual contact with a minor,
- Pandering obscenity,
- Importuning or solicitation of an adult,
- Solicitation of a minor,
- Importuning or solicitation of illegal sexual materials,
- Possession of child pornography,
- Gross sexual imposition,
- Sexual battery, and
- Public indecency.
A sex crime online can lead to significant, life-altering consequences. Often, what begins online evolves into a physical altercation.
Unlawful Sexual Contact With Minor
What often begins as chatting online through social media or an app can lead to a physical meeting.
Unlawful sexual contact with a minor is one such instance.
Before meeting up with an individual you are chatting with over the internet, it is crucial to know the identity of this person and that it is, in fact, a consenting adult.
In Ohio, the mere showing of intent to have contact with an underage individual is a crime.
Pandering obscenity is a cybercrime you can be charged with if you aren’t careful when engaging in online activity.
In Ohio, you can be charged with pandering obscenity if you are accused of creating, reproducing, publishing, buying, selling, advertising for sale, publicly distributing, or publicly displaying any obscene material.
And if the material involves a minor, the charge is even more serious.
A person can even be charged with this crime for merely possessing such material. Pandering obscenity involves knowing the nature of the pictures or performance depicted in the material.
If an individual panders obscenity involving a minor, they may face very serious charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.
This is why it is so crucial to understand the age of consent and be sure you are conversing and engaging with adults.
Importuning, otherwise known as a solicitation, is when an individual solicits illegal sexual materials over the internet.
Solicitation can take many forms through chat rooms, messaging, and sharing files.
Sex Offender Registry
A conviction for any of these sex crimes will most certainly result in mandatory sex offender registration.
The degree and severity of the crime will determine how long the court may require you to remain on the sex offender registry.
Any length of time on the sex offender registry can be extremely damaging to your reputation. It can prohibit you from finding and maintaining gainful employment or securing a mortgage.
Don’t risk your reputation; hire a knowledgeable online sex crime attorney the minute you are accused of a crime.
How Do I Avoid Trouble with Social Networking?
Unfornatutely, there is no advice or tip that can guarantee you are never charged with a sex crime from using social media or a dating app.
However, you can take certain precautions to protect yourself from unwanted allegations.
- Only use dating apps intended for adults.
- Confirm the individual on the other side of the phone or computer is, in fact, an adult.
- Once that person verbally confirms they are an adult, do a little digging for yourself and check their Facebook and social media presence for signs they may actually be underage. For example, if the person claims they are an adult but does not have a driver’s license or work experience—it can be a red flag.
If all else fails, trust your gut. If it seems like the person might be a minor, it is better to err on the side of caution.
Social Networking and Sex Crime Defense Attorneys
At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have dedicated our career to helping individuals facing the toughest situations.
You will always receive one-on-one attention from our attorneys. If you have been accused of a sex crime online, you need sharp representation.
Some of our lawyers are former prosecutors. This experience provides them with unique insight and perspective into defending clients accused of a crime.
Meet with us today to discuss a tailor-made defense for your case. We are here to take your call.