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18 U.S.C. 2421A – Promotion or Facilitation of Prostitution and Reckless Disregard of Sex Trafficking

Attorneys Assisting Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in Concord and Charlotte

The invention of the internet has allowed certain crimes, such as prostitution and sex trafficking, to become widespread. In response to increases in online sex crimes, Congress recently passed a law that grants broad powers to the federal government to prosecute people for engaging in certain activity online that fosters the illegal sex trade. Thus, a person can be charged with a federal sex crime without actually engaging in sexual acts. North Carolina residents who are charged with promotion or facilitation of prostitution and reckless disregard of sex trafficking should speak to an attorney. The Charlotte and Concord federal sex crime lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm are skilled at navigating the complexities of criminal cases arising out of internet sex crimes. We can gather and present the evidence needed to help you seek a good result under the facts of your case.

Promotion or Facilitation of Prostitution and Reckless Disregard of Sex Trafficking

The newly enacted law, 18 U.S. Code section 2421A, targets the promotion or facilitation of prostitution. Specifically, section 2421A(a) states that a party can be convicted of a crime for operating, managing, or owning an interactive computer service that uses a means of interstate commerce, with the intent to promote or assist in the prostitution of another person. Under federal law, an interactive computer service is any system, service, or software provider that allows multiple people to access a computer server, including systems that provide access to the internet. In other words, under section 2421A, it is illegal for a party to provide an internet service or host a web page for the purpose of promoting prostitution. A person convicted of violating or attempting to violate section 2421A(a) may be fined and may also be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Furthermore, section 2421A(b) criminalizes the reckless disregard of sex trafficking. Specifically, if a party uses the internet to encourage or facilitate the prostitution of five or more people or acts with reckless disregard of the fact that such behavior contributes to sex trafficking, it constitutes an aggravated violation. An aggravated violation can result in a fine, imprisonment for up to 25 years, or both a fine and imprisonment.

In addition to facing criminal penalties, a party found guilty of violating section 2421A may face civil penalties. In cases in which the defendant demonstrated a careless disregard for the fact that his or her behavior promoted sex trafficking, he or she may be ordered to pay restitution as well.

Potential Defenses

Pursuant to section 2421A(e), it is a defense to an accusation of a violation of 2421A that it is legal to promote or assist prostitution in the area where such efforts were targeted. A person alleging that his or her actions were legal must prove the defense by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that he or she must prove that it is more likely than not to be true. A defendant may also be able to avoid a conviction by demonstrating that the prosecution cannot establish intent. In other words, if the evidence does not show that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant’s actions were intentional, the evidence should be insufficient to establish guilt.

Consult a Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney in Concord or Charlotte

Internet sex crimes are prosecuted as seriously as other sexual offenses. People who are charged with promotion or facilitation of prostitution and reckless disregard of sex trafficking should speak to an attorney to discuss their potential defenses. The dedicated criminal defense lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm can advise you about any potential defenses that may be available in your case and craft arguments that will aid you in pursuing a favorable result. We regularly represent individuals charged with federal sex crimes in Concord and Charlotte and throughout Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties, including people in Huntersville, Mint Hill, Matthews, Cornelius, Davidson, Midland, Pineville, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us through our online form or at our Charlotte office by calling 704-405-2580 or at our Concord office by calling 704-918-4747.

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