Birmingham sex crimes defense lawyers know that while allegations of child sex abuse are nothing new, easier access to technology has meant a higher number of arrests.
The reason is multifaceted.
First of all, almost everyone has a home computer, social media accounts, and more. It’s easy to feel like what’s happening in the privacy of your home will stay there. It doesn’t.
And that’s the second point: Alabama law enforcement agencies have gotten more advanced in their investigation techniques, particularly with regard to alleged crimes involving children and computers.
Alabama Criminal Code 13A-6-69 details the definition of child enticement into a home, vehicle or some other location for “immoral” purposes. This law states that you don’t have to even touch a child in order to have committed this crime – but your intent matters. The law states that it’s illegal for an adult with lascivious (i.e., sexual) intent to persuade, entice, lure or invite a child under the age of 16 into any location for the purposes of performing a sexual act. Violation of this law is a Class C Felony, which is punishable by a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Actually carrying out one of these crimes (rape or some other form of sexual assault) is considered even more serious.
The advances in police technology mean that prosecutors are more likely to have a fair amount of evidence against you in the form of electronic messages. This is why you are going to need a sex crimes defense attorney who can match that level of experience.
A recent case out of Gadsen, AL illustrates how police are utilizing technology to build their cases.
Officers there organized a sting to specifically target sex crimes.
In the course of an earlier investigation, officers reportedly had learned that certain adults were using websites to set up sexual encounters in public places. Some of those encounters involved juveniles.
The team set up an online profile, pretending as if they were a juvenile, in order to ensnare those individuals in a sex crimes case.
Once that profile was set up, police say a 45-year-old contacted the phony teen, attaching a sexually-explicit message. When he heard back from the person he thought was a teen, the pair exchanged several messages, and then agreed to meet for sex.
Keep in mind, this individual thought this would be a consensual encounter. However, juveniles under a certain age are not considered legally able to consent under state law.
When the individual arrived at the agreed-upon location, police arrested him.
Two others were also arrested as part of the same sting.
This is just one example of how law enforcement utilizes new technology. Other advances include software that can allow officers to profile potential suspects, as well as GPS to track sex offenders.