If you're charged with soliciting a minor, understand that the law takes a hard stance against it for legitimate reasons. It's been reported that one in 25 youth spoken to in the Youth Internet Safety Survey had been sexually solicited online in the last year. Most of the time, the person doing the soliciting attempted to make further contact through mail, in person or over the telephone.
What's often misconstrued is that the adult speaking to a minor is hiding his or her age. Often, the alleged offender doesn't deceive the child at all. It's been claimed that these adults use seduction and flattery to lure the minors.
Despite claims that Internet predators rape and murder those they contact, that's very rarely the case. Violence only occurs in around 5 percent of all cases. In reality, most cases are consensual, but the minor is not legally allowed to consent in most situations. Most of the crimes, if they involve sexual acts, are statutory rapes and not forcible rapes.
Some minors do intend to deceive adults, too. Those seeking sexual relationships might have a fake ID or lie about their ages. There's little difference in the appearance of some 14, 15, 16 or 17-year-old minors in comparison to a legally aged 18-year-old. For those who think they're speaking to an adult, this is a particularly complicated case. Adults should know better, but how can you know you're committing a crime if you think both parties are of legal age?
Our website has information on what to do if you've been accused of this kind of crime. You deserve the chance to not only explain the situation, but to defend your reputation.