Importuning means simply the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, regardless of whether one is aware of the minor's true age or not. When you add in the medium of the Internet or any electronic means, it becomes more complex:
"Unlawful use of electronic means originating or received within the Commonwealth to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities -- Prohibition of multiple convictions arising from single course of conduct -- Solicitation as evidence of intent." -- Kentucky Penal Code 510.155
Ohio law on Importuning states: "No person shall solicit a person who is less than thirteen years of age to engage in sexual activity with the offender, whether or not the offender knows the age of such person." The law then specifies that this applies to "any solicitation that is contained in a transmission via a telecommunications device that either originates in this state or is received in this state."
It is a common misconception that no crime has taken place unless there is an actual meeting. In reality, the offense of Importuning or Online Solicitation may be completed merely through the communication itself. Additionally, if there is an attempt to actually meet, further charges may be applied.
Since "intent" is the key to this technology-based sex crime, police officers frequently pose as minors online.
Defending Computer and Internet Sex Crimes
Computer and Internet sex crime cases can become very complex. They usually require a great deal of research and attention. When involving the Internet, Importuning or Online Solicitation charges are often prosecuted at the federal level. Federal criminal defense is distinct from state defense and so requires specific strategies. It is very important to understand whether charges against you are being filed by the state, the federal government, or both. You need a criminal defense attorney greatly experienced in both state and federal cases involving Internet sex crimes.
Defending Crimes Against Children or Minors
Due to the fact that Importuning or Online Solicitation charges involve children or minors, it is highly unacceptable to the public. Prosecutors, then, are under extreme pressure to pursue and convict those charged with this type of sex crime. They may even coax the testimony of a child in such a way that it exaggerates their case against you. Jurors may also lower their standards requiring much less proof of guilt than with any other type of crime.
If you are facing Importuning or Online Solicitation charges, it is crucial to have legal representation with specialized expertise in defending those accused of crimes against children.
See also: Computer Technology and the Internet under Child Pornography, and Internet Pornography
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