18 U.S.C. 2422 – Coercion and Enticement
A wide range of activity falls under the umbrella of federal sex crimes. For example, a person may be charged with a crime not only for engaging in illegal sexual activity, but also for coercing or enticing another person to partake in unlawful acts. Attempting to convince another person to commit an illegal sex act is a serious crime that carries heavy penalties, and it is wise for people charged with coercion and enticement to consult a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. The Charlotte and Concord federal sex crime lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm can assess your circumstances and advise you about your options for seeking a successful result.Coercion and Enticement
Under federal law, it is a crime to attempt to persuade other people to participate in unlawful behavior. Specifically, 18 U.S. Code section 2422(a) provides that anyone who knowingly induces or coerces another person to travel over state lines or out of the country to engage in any sexual activity that constitutes a criminal offense, such as prostitution, can be convicted of a crime. It is also illegal for a person to attempt to engage in behavior barred by section 2422(a). A person convicted of violating this provision can be sentenced to prison for up to 20 years and may also be fined.
It is also unlawful under section 2422(b) for a person to use the mail or internet, or any other means of interstate commerce, to intentionally persuade, coerce, or entice a minor to engage in illegal sex acts. A conviction for a violation of section 2422(b) can result in imprisonment for 10 years to life.Defending Against Federal Sex Crime Charges
In any criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving that the defendant committed the alleged offense. In other words, it must show that the evidence is so compelling that no reasonable person could have any doubt that the defendant is guilty. To meet its burden, the prosecution must prove each element of the charged crime. For example, if a defendant is accused of coercion or enticement, a prosecutor must establish that the defendant persuaded someone to travel out of the state or the country, or that the defendant used a means of interstate commerce, with the intent of persuading the person to engage in an illicit act. As a result, if the prosecution is unable to prove an element of the crime, the defendant should not be found guilty.
In some instances, even if a defendant engaged in illegal acts, he or she may nonetheless be able to avoid a conviction by establishing entrapment. An entrapment defense requires the defendant to show that he or she lacked a predisposition to commit the charged crime and that he or she was induced by a law enforcement agent to engage in the illegal acts that form the basis of the charges. If a defendant produces sufficient evidence to show that he or she was persuaded to engage in criminal activity by a law enforcement agent, the burden shifts back to the government to show that there was no entrapment.Contact a Skillful Federal Crime Attorney in Concord or Charlotte
A conviction for a federal sex crime can have grave consequences that permanently alter a person’s life. If you are charged with coercion or enticement, it is essential to retain an attorney who will advocate zealously on your behalf. The skillful criminal defense lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm are adept at helping people charged with coercion and enticement fight to protect their rights, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue a just outcome. We represent people faced with accusations that they committed 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. We can be reached at our Charlotte office by calling 704-405-2580 or at our Concord office by calling 704-918-4747, or you can use our online form to schedule a meeting.