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12 Feb

When facing prosecution for luring a minor for sexual exploitation or aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, a person accused of these crimes may have defenses related to whether or not they knew or had reason to know the other party was a minor, whether or not sexual conduct was in fact solicited, or whether they were entrapped (known as the affirmative defense of entrapment) to engage in the conduct.

Law enforcement agencies are now using sophisticated investigative techniques to target individuals suspected of soliciting sexual acts with minors over the internet. Law enforcement agencies often have a detective impersonate a minor on internet dating websites or chat rooms, and this undercover detective will try to lure individuals into sexually charged conversations.

Unfortunately, many of their tactics end up targeting individuals who never intended to communicate with a minor and significantly impinge on an individual’s online privacy. To identify the individual messaging with them, the undercover detective will obtain a warrant or court order for subscriber information and internet protocol address (known as an “IP address”) data.

That, in turn, led investigators to a larger ring of computer pedophiles.

When a similar case with national reach turned up the following year, the FBI realized it was onto an alarming new trend: sexual exploitation of children via the Internet. In 1995, the FBI created its Innocent Images National Initiative (IINI).

A decade ago, a 10-year-old boy disappeared from his Brentwood, Maryland, neighborhood.

Within weeks, the investigation would uncover two pedophiles and a larger ring of online child pornographers.

You can also file an online report at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline at these reports are forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

In Arizona, and especially in the Phoenix metropolitan area, law enforcement agencies are investing a lot of resources in the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes.

These are in addition to the social stigma, devastating employment consequences, and other negative consequences of having one’s name on a publicly searchable list of sex offenders.

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