Sexual Crimes Against Children
An accusation of indecent contact with a child can destroy a reputation and life faster than almost any other criminal accusation. You may be instantly labeled a sex offender or pedophile by friends and neighbors – even if you are wrongfully accused and innocent – if you are investigated for or accused of crimes against children. You need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyer to fight for you.
I believe people accused of sex crimes against children need the most aggressive and vigorous representation. FALSE accusations could damage your life, your reputation and your future. I understand that children can lie; children can be coerced and criminal prosecutions can be manipulated by persons with a vested interest in seeing you convicted.
I handle cases of crimes against children such as:
- Child Sexual assault
- Child molestation
- Sexual abuse or neglect
- Indecent exposure to a child
- Indecent contact with a child
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Online child pornography
- Indecency with a child
While all sex crimes are viewed by the public as very serious, sex crimes against children are seen as particularly egregious. Often, because of the high profile these cases carry, prosecutors are very aggressive in working for convictions and lifetime sex offender registration under Megan’s Law for people who are charged with crimes against children or having illegal relationships with minors. You need an aggressive defense attorney who will protect your rights.
ONLINE SOLICITATION OF A MINOR
Texas Internet Minor Solicitation Attorney Internet Online Solicitation of Minor Internet solicitation of a minor is a sex crime that requires no physical contact with a minor. An online conversation that turns sexual and results in an exchange of pornographic pictures are enough for an arrest and serious criminal charge. Cases are high profile with the media and even friends and family assuming guilt before any trial starts.
Investigations for chat room luring and solicitation often occur with a police officer posing as a minor. Once a conversation turns sexual, both the ISP and home address is secured. An investigation begins and an arrest usually results. I will protect you against this aggressive approach by countering with equal aggressiveness.
I will review the evidence against you, including police reports and the chat room transcripts. I investigate the tactics that law enforcement employed during their “sting.” Were you entrapped? Did the “child” reach out to you? Were you encouraged to commit this crime with pressure or promises?
In the end, I will fight for the best outcome, either through plea bargaining to minimize the consequences or courtroom litigation to fight for acquittal. While you may want to plead guilty in an effort to make the problem go away, an admission only makes things worse. An arrest does not mean that a conviction is automatic. You will not be able to solve this problem on your own; You will not be able to avoid prosecution by cooperating with the police.
Distribution Of Child Pornography Charges
Penalties for charges of production and distribution of child pornography are very severe because the assumption is that anyone with child pornography on their computer that has been distributed also produced it. The advent of file sharing programs has increased incidents of people unknowingly or unwittingly downloading files to their computers. However, the charges and sentencing guidelines have remained the same.
These statutes are now being used against teenagers who “share phone photos” of girlfriends or boyfriends. If the significant other is a minor and your child forwarded a photo, your child can be accused of Distribution of Child Pornography!!!!!
SEX BETWEEN MINORS AND YOUNG ADULTS
It is illegal to have sex with anyone under the age of 17 in the state of Texas unless that person is your spouse or there is three or fewer years of separation between you. Children under the age of 14 are considered unable to give consent for sex. Charges of statutory rape carry time in prison and the requirement to register as a sex offender.
This means that children can be accused of statutory rape, for instance, if a 15-year-old has sex with a 13-year-old, that is considered illegal and the 15-year-old can be charged with sexual assault and end up in juvenile detention.
If you or your child has been accused of sexual assault on a minor, you need aggressive defense from an attorney with extensive experience in handling sex crimes.
Texas now has a law, referred to as the “Jack and Jill Law,” which makes sex between a minor of 15 and an adult of 19 or under legal so long as it is consensual and there is a separation of four years or less in age. If the older participant is over 19, even if there is a separation of four years or less, the law does not apply.
This means that young adults who have been previously charged may be eligible for release or resentencing and the requirement of registration as a sex offender may be removed. If you or your child is currently serving a sentence for statutory rape, contact my to find out whether this new law may apply to you or to your child.
Texas Sex Crime Statutes
There is an entire chapter of offenses dedicated to sex crimes in Texas, and the crime of sexual assault is defined as follows:
A person is guilty of sexual assault if he or she intentionally or knowingly:
- Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
- Causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent;
- Causes the sexual organ of another person, without having that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
- Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
- Causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
- Causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth,anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
- Causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
- Causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
A child is a person younger than 17 years of age.
The statute states that there is no consent if:
- The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of force or violence;
- The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;
- The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
- The actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either or appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;
- The other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
- The actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administering any substance without the other person’s knowledge;
- The actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
- The actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;
- The actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor; or
- The actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser.
The language above taken from the Texas statutes represents a number of different circumstances from which a charge of sexual assault can result.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
The statutory language of what constitutes sexual assault in Texas applies to the aggravated sexual assault statute, which requires additional special factors.
For instance, the additional factors that could result in a charge of aggravated sexual assault include where the person:
- Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person;
- Places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
- Threatens to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon;
- Administers or provides rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense;
- The victim is younger than 14 years of age; or
- The victim is 65 years of age or older, or is disabled.
The Difference in Penalties
The most important difference between aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault is the severity of the penalties. If someone is convicted of aggravated sexual assault, he or she can be sentenced anywhere between 5 – 99 years, or life in prison. Additionally, a person could face a minimum of 25 years in prison if the victim is younger than six years old or younger than 14 and is subjected to actual violence or if the sexual assault is defined by law as continuous.
A person convicted of sexual assault could face a prison sentence of 2 – 20 years.
Both of these offenses carry a requirement to register as a sex offender if a person is convicted.