Plainwell news reports that a 25-year-old man has been arrested on two counts of Michigan criminal sexual conduct, third degree, also referred to by lay people as statutory rape. The man allegedly started a relationship with a 14-year-old girl he met on MySpace.
Although the facts and circumstances of this case are unknown, it is scenarios such as these that police often use as justification for overzealous prosecution and entrapment of innocent individuals for alleged internet sex crimes while using a computer in the privacy of their own homes. A common situation is a police internet “sting” – used in chat rooms and social media sites – where law enforcement agencies attempt to lure an law abiding citizen into having inappropriate conversations with an underage boy or girl. When they are “caught,” police offices then may file charges such as solicitation of a minor. Where the individual downloads images of the underage minor – either on their cell phone or computer – his may allegedly constitute distribution of pornography.
These charges are serious felonies that can lead to placement of your name on the Michigan sex crimes registry and jail time.
The bottom line – be careful. Do not send any images or engage in questionable conversations until you have personal knowledge of that person’s identity. Police officers may be waiting to “catch” you as part of a sting.
If you have been charged with an internet sex crime, contact Grabel & Associates, Michigan’s premier sex crimes defense law firm.