The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 32-year-old unemployed man on April 12, 2011 at his home for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he found online. He was charged with lewd and lascivious battery, computer pornography/traveling to meet a minor for sex and violating probation.
The man arranged a meeting with the girl after viewing her profile and chatting with her on the web site www.myyearbook.com. The two allegedly met a day after their online encounter where they had sex in an abandoned home.
According to Tampa Bay Online, the girl’s age, 14, was listed correctly on the web site. Legally, the girl is not old enough to consent to sexual relations.
The girl supposedly told someone what happened and the sheriff’s office was contacted. Another meeting was apparently set up between the two. The man allegedly left the meeting spot when he saw sheriff’s detectives at the scene.
The man was later arrested at his home and taken to Land O’ Lakes County Jail with bail set at $20,000.
Solicitation of a minor can happen online when someone over the age of 18 entices or lures someone under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activities while using a computer network. The mere attempt to lure or entice a minor for sex in the state of Florida can bring about a solicitation charge. This means that a meeting between the minor and adult does not have to take place for an arrest to occur.
Florida criminal statutes make the solicitation of a minor a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison for each solicitation made. For a single sequence of chats an adult participates in with a minor online, Florida government can charge multiple counts of solicitation charges. Any adult that travels any distance for the sole purpose of partaking in sexual relations with a minor can be charged with a second-degree felony that carries consequences of up to 15 years in prison.
If you have been charged with online solicitation of a minor in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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