Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

Sex crimes, especially those committed against children, are very serious offenses. The most commonly reported sex-related crimes involving children include: child molestation or indecency with a child, solicitation, sexual assault of a child, aggravated sexual assault, possession and distribution of child pornography, Internet sex crime, sexual exploitation of a minor, and statutory rape, which refers to an adult engaging in sex with a minor who is under the age of consent. A person proven guilty of any these crimes can face very harsh punishments besides being possibly required to register as a sex offender.

Sexual exploitation of a minor, particularly, is committed by whoever knowingly records, films, photographs, develops, duplicates, distributes, transports, exhibits, receives, sells, purchases, electronically transmits, possesses or exchanges any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct.

In 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Criminal Victimization Survey registered 346,830 cases of sex crimes committed against persons aged 12 or older. It is believed that many children, who are victims of sex crimes, do not immediately report the crime committed against them due to fear of negative reactions from their parents, or due to threats made by their abuser, most of whom are known to them, like a neighbor, a child care provider, a babysitter or a family friend; in the case of male victims, offenses are usually never reported.

Many laws have been passed for the protection of children, such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994, which is the federal version of the Megan’s Law (the Megan’s Law, which was enacted by the United States Congress in 1996, is a federal mandate that requires law enforcement agencies to make available for public referencing any relevant information about sex offenders. Information, which may be published in newspapers and pamphlets or posted in free public websites, can include an offender’s photo, name, residential address, work, communities visited, nature of crime and incarceration date. The passing of this law is to avoid sexual crimes from being committed, such as the one committed against a seven-year-old girl, who was raped and killed by her neighbor in 1994).

Under the law, sexual offenders are also required to inform local law enforcement authorities of any changes in their address and employment after their release from custody. This mandate usually lasts up to 10 years, however, it may be made a permanent requirement. In many states, offenders can be charged with felony if they fail to comply with this mandate.

As explained in the Horst Law website, a person can be convicted of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor multiple times and could conceivably be punished with consecutive sentences. However, not all those convicted are actually guilty of the crime they have been charged with. Often, the battle is fought between a charged offender and a child (victim) who, of course, is supported by authorities, the police, and probably even by the trial judge and jury in proving the guilt of the accused. A person charged will definitely need representation from an experienced, tough criminal defense lawyer who may be able to save him/her from conviction.

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