Sex crimes and the Internet

As progress inexorably marches forward, it leaves in its wake a series of intractable problems with little or no clear way to solve them. One of these problems is sex crimes committed using the Internet. The Internet boasts anonymity, which is great to overthrow dictatorships, but also a boon for sexual predators. Every level of law enforcement is looking for the silver bullet to curb this trend, however, nothing seems to be the answer.

In order to raise awareness, the national Sex Offender Public Registry collects and publishes data from multiple studies. This article will go over some of those numbers as they relate to the Internet and sex crimes.

The problem is two-fold; teenagers using these tools to bully and send photographs to one another and sexual predators using these tools to find potential victims. 15 percent of cellphone-owning teenagers admitted that they received a sexually suggestive or semi-nude photograph via text from someone they knew. A further 11 percent of young adults and teenagers admitted to sending one themselves via text or online. Moreover, of those who sent pictures, only 26 percent believe that the other person kept the photos confidential.

On the other side of the issue, about 13 percent of young Internet users reported receiving unwanted sexual advances. One in 25 youths received an offline request to meet in person. Those that did respond to a request to meet, the majority did so willingly, and 93 percent reported a sexual encounter.

You may think that these are boogeyman preying on innocent children, however, only 5 percent of these criminals pretended to be young children. The vast majority admitted they were older and were seeking sex. This is a complicated problem that will not be solved overnight.

If you are facing charges for criminal conduct committed online, then you may want to speak with an attorney. These are serious charges, and you will need to confront them to minimize the damage to your reputation and personal life. These cases are fought out over data and information. The sooner your attorney has all the facts, the sooner he or she can begin helping you prepare a defense. There is rarely a “gotcha” moment in these proceedings. An attorney can help you review the law and prepare a defense.