The crime of solicitation generally requires a person to use the Internet, phone or any other form of electronic communication system to attempt to engage in some type of criminal conduct and have the intent that the person they are communicating with will engage in the criminal conduct with them. If an adult uses electronic communication to attempt to engage in sexual conduct with a minor, the adult could be charged with solicitation of a minor.
A man from Roanoke is now facing three felony charges for Internet solicitation of a minor. The 35-year-old was arrested after he attempted to solicit an ICAC Task Force investigator, who apparently set up an online profile of an underage girl as part of an undercover investigation. Police say the man spoke with multiple minors throughout the investigation in a private, online chatroom that he set up. The man has been released on bond, as police continue to look for other victims.
Solicitation of a minor is a serious crime that can result in significant jail time and a damaged reputation, among many other consequences. Therefore, those accused of such crimes will want to do all they can to fight back against the charges they face. This will involve forming a strong criminal defense argument in their favor.
There are a number of potential defenses to these charges. For example, you may have had a legitimate reason to believe that the minor you were engaging with was over the age of 18, and therefore, you may lack the requisite intent. Another possible defense may be that you were not the person communicating with the minor in question. Lastly, police may have committed entrapment by getting a law-abiding person like you to commit a crime that you would not have committed otherwise. Remember, it is the prosecution’s job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution lacks adequate evidence to prove both act and intent, your charges may be dismissed.
Source: WSLS, “Roanoke man charged with online sex crimes,” Jeff Williamson, April 4, 2018