The online solicitation of a minor involves pursuing sexually-explicit electronic communication with a person who is younger than 17 years of age. This communication may be in the form of online instant messages, social media posts or emails. Such correspondence may include provocative images or multimedia files and must be intentionally initiated.
These acts can be prosecuted regardless of whether or not a meeting actually took place, or if the defendant alleges he or she was engaged in a fantasy and did not truly intend to act in a deviant manner. The fact that the actor did not know the individual was a minor is not a defense as long as the accused reasonably should have known this to be the case.
While there is little tolerance for those who commit online solicitation of a minor, Texas law does recognize instances where there could be viable defenses to this crime. These are spelled out in Section 33.021 (e) of the Texas Penal Code and include:
- The actor and the minor in question were husband and wife
- The accused was not more than three years older than the victim, who must also have consented to the sexually-explicit communications
Yes. There is a task force that specialized in capturing and prosecuting those engaging in the Online Solicitation of Minors. If convicted, there is a requirement for Registration as a Sexual Offender.Is it illegal to possess Child Pornography?
Yes. Possession of Child Pornography is prohibited by both Texas law and federal law. This is also an offense that a conviction would trigger the registration requirements.
If you have been charged with the Online Solicitation of a Minor you should call Pullan & Young immediately to discuss how you will be properly defended. 936-647-1540