Internet Sex Crimes on the Rise in Florida Amid COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has swept a healthcare crisis and economic devastation across Florida and throughout the U.S. It has also ushered in a new wave of sex crimes, according to law enforcement officers.

Or at least ramped up law enforcement activity to investigate those crimes.

The number of child pornography and exploitation investigations has more than doubled during the pandemic, the head of the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force recently told Fox 35. Sgt. Justin Shah says stay-at-home orders and limited activities have ticked up demand for illicit material and driven more children to the internet.

“People asking for sexually explicit photos from children online is increasing because kids are spending more time online talking to people who they don’t know,” Shah said. His task force includes representatives from more than 60 law enforcement agencies across the Sunshine State.

The task force investigated nearly 1,200 cases in the second quarter of this year. That is up from more than 500 investigations over the same three-year period last year.

Possible Legal Defenses in Such Cases

The Fox 35 report is a clear sign that police officers are on the lookout for sex crimes, especially those that involve the internet.

Child pornography can arise from a wide variety of scenarios and often come with a number of difficult legal and factual questions. It is, therefore, crucial for anyone charged with – or even suspected of – these crimes to seek the counsel of a seasoned Miami child pornography lawyer.

It is also important to understand that the burden is at all times on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the specific crime with which you have been charged. That includes proving criminal intent, or that the person charged with the crime knowingly possessed the illicit material.

The actual age of the person depicted in the pornographic material is often hotly debated in these cases. There is also potential entrapment, which Florida law makes a full defense. Entrapment occurs when a police officer or informant tries to induce someone into committing a crime in certain situations.

Speak with a Miami Child Pornography Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with or is suspected of a sex crime in Florida, it’s important to seek help from a seasoned Miami child pornography attorney.

At Whittel & Melton, we represent clients throughout Florida who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses, including sexual assault, rape and child pornography. Our attorneys work tirelessly to fight these charges.

We handle cases throughout the state, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. Contact us online or call 866-608-5529 for a free evaluation.

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