Internet Sex Crimes
The internet is a great place to get all types of information. However, this landscape of never-ending information at our fingertips has created many new avenues for criminal charges, many of which carry heightened penalties. At the Olsinski Law Offices, PLLC, our dedicated North Carolina criminal defense attorneys have a long history of providing aggressive representation to those who need it most. We skillfully handle all types of sex crimes, understanding that these cases impact almost every aspect of your life. With your input, we carefully consider every possible defense to develop a comprehensive and effective defense to even the toughest charges.Types of Internet Sex Crimes
Over recent decades, both state and federal lawmakers have passed sweeping internet sex crime laws that punish a wide range of conduct. Some of the most common North Carolina internet sex crimes include the following:Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (Child Pornography)
While no North Carolina sex crime contains the term “child pornography,” the offense of sexual exploitation of a minor covers the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography. Often, law enforcement is able to identify who downloaded child pornography by tagging images that are then downloaded, usually on some type of peer-to-peer network. Once someone downloads that image, law enforcement will proceed with obtaining that person’s IP address and then a search warrant. Depending on the level of a person’s involvement, sexual exploitation of a minor charges can be graded as Class C, Class E, or Class H felonies.Dissemination to Minors
Dissemination to minors involves providing a child under the age of 16 with “obscene” material.” While this offense is not strictly an internet sex crime, the prevalence of the internet makes these offenses much more common. While the statute doesn’t define what constitutes “obscene” material, under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-190.1, material is obscene if:
- It depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way;
- The average person in the community would find that the material appeals to the prurient interest in sex;
- It lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; and
- The material is not constitutionally protected.
Prosecutors may bring these charges in a situation where someone shares an explicit picture or other videos to entice the other party to send an explicit picture in return. Dissemination to minors is a Class I felony.Disclosure of Private Images
Disclosure of private images is one of the more recent internet sex crimes in North Carolina. This law makes it a crime to knowingly disclose certain images of another person with the intent to harass, demean, intimidate or humiliate them. However, to meet the elements of this offense, the government must prove the following elements:
- The person’s identity is ascertainable from the picture or from the information provided along with the picture;
- The person’s intimate parts are exposed, or they are engaged in sexual conduct;
- The person did not give their consent to distribute the picture;
- The person sharing the picture obtained it without permission or in a way that they should have known it was intended to remain private.
Disclosure of private images is a Class H felony when committed by an adult or a Class 1 misdemeanor when committed by someone under 18.Solicitation of a Child by Computer
Solicitation of a child by computer prohibits the use of a computer to arrange an illegal sex act with a minor. However, the statute only applies to those who are 16 years old and are at least five years older than the alleged victim. Importantly, the alleged victim does not need to be under 16, as long as the person trying to meet them believes they are a minor. This allows law enforcement to conduct sting operations by posing as children in chat rooms. A conviction for solicitation of a child by computer is a Class H felony. However, if you actually show up to meet the child, the crime becomes a Class G felony.Set Up a Free and Confidential Consultation with an Experienced North Carolina Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you face internet sex crime charges, it is essential that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner as early in the process as possible. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we recognize the seriousness of these offenses and do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome for each of our clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation* with a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord sex offense lawyers at 704-918-4747.