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When does an online conversation with a minor cross the line?

Sex Crimes – online conversations with minors that go too far

Online dating apps, text programs, and social media have made it easy for people to contact each other without thinking of the potential real-world consequences of their actions. This bubble allows people to take conversations too far, and when one of those people is a minor, the consequences for the adult can be devastating if they are charged with a sex crime.

Graphic Content and Sexting

What might start out as flirtatious joking can begin to take a dark turn as one party leads the other into more sexually graphic conversation, or sexting. One party might even try to get the other to send a sexually graphic photo. This can be the fault of either the adult or the minor, but the result is the same: The adult can be charged with sex crimes.

Legal and Social Effects

The adult in the case can face a number of different sex-crime-related charges and possibly be locked up for a while. That may seem straightforward, but in this case, the adult would also face social stigmatization. He or she may be fired or kicked out of his or her home. Friends and family may distance themselves from the person, leaving him or her isolated and unsupported.

Local media may run stories about the case that are biased against the adult because there is a perception that either minors are not likely to be the instigators in cases like these, or that the adult should have known better. For those adults who are eventually convicted, sentencing can be harsh, and prison time is a real possibility. Once released, the person would be permanently tarnished with a sex-offender label.

Even if the case is dropped and the adult is never tried, the social stigma can remain for a very long time. If you have found yourself in a similar situation and may be facing accusations, if not actual charges, of sex crimes involving a minor, contact a lawyer at Eisenberg Law Offices now. Do not wait. You need expert legal help in defending yourself against the charges and doing damage control.