A Broward County man who was convicted of luring a 15-year-old San Francisco girl into participating in online video-sex sessions was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Wednesday.
According to reports, the 29-year-old North Lauderdale man admitted that he “met” the teen girl online through the anonymous online chatting site Omegle in September 2013.
The pair then started communicating by video-conferencing and instant messaging on Skype.
Two months after the communications started the girl’s father became suspicious and confiscated her phone. He apparently found evidence that the girl had already participated in several video-sex sessions.
According to records, her dad printed out “approximately 143 pages” of sexually explicit online chats between the girl and the man, and turned them over to San Francisco police and federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations.
Authorities said the man persuaded the girl to use her smartphone to have video sex with him, masturbate, show him her naked body and watch him masturbate.
The man was arrested in April and pleaded guilty to one federal charge of enticement of a minor in September.
A U.S. District Judge agreed to follow a joint recommendation from the prosecution and defense on Wednesday and sentenced the man to 12 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. The man must also register as a sex offender and is barred from having any contact with minors.
This case brings up the question of what constitutes an internet sex crime. Anytime someone uses the internet to seek out minors for sexual purposes, they can be found guilty of an internet sex crime. Internet sex crimes can be committed through chat rooms, social networks, Skype and other various methods. These cybercrimes are growing rapidly with the amount of technology available with a click of the mouse.
If you are convicted of an internet sex crime, you could be mandated to register as a sex offender, something that will follow you wherever you go. Your neighbors can be notified of your status and you must also inform the local police department if you move out of the area. It is best to refrain from sending inappropriate pictures or engaging in questionable conversations online unless you know the true identity of the other person on the receiving end and you are 100 percent sure that they are over the age of 18 years old.
If you have been accused of an internet sex crime or are facing charges, it is important to seek the help of a sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. A Florida Internet Solicitation Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you fight these serious charges and seek the best possible outcome. For a free consultation, call us today in South Florida at 561-367-8777 or statewide at 866-608-5529, or you can even contact us online.
The staff was very attentive and answered all my questions regarding my criminal case. I was very pleased with the outcome and professionalism. Crystal Vasquez
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