Online sexual solicitation is defined as being an online communication where someone tries to get a minor to talk about sex when he or she doesn’t want to, requests the minor to do something he or she doesn’t want to or when the person discusses things with sexual overtones. While in some cases, these chats are meant to lead to an offline meet up, that is most often not the case. In fact, some cases are defined by the solicitation being “flirting,” although some people do consider this to be grooming.
In one study, minors were asked to report the ages of their solicitors. In the report, the youth determined that 43 percent of the solicitors were under 18, 30 percent were between 18 and 25, and nine percent were over 25. The remaining 18 percent could not have their ages determined, according to the minors.
The research show that 52 percent of the sex offenders lied about one aspect of themselves to the minor in question. However, despite that, the studies showed that significant deception didn’t always take place. Only five percent of the offenders discussed had claimed to be the same age as the minor he or she was speaking to.
What this information shows, in some ways, is that many times, the people being accused of being sexual predators or soliciting minors online have either been honest or never intended to meet the child. While that’s not a strong defense in itself, if you find yourself in a similar situation where you face solicitation charges, proving that you did nothing wrong or planned nothing harmful for the future of the minor can be incredibly helpful to your case.
Source: academia.edu, “Internet Threats to Minors: Solicitation, Harassment, and Problematic Content.” Andrew Schrock, accessed Jan. 14, 2015