Virtually all types of sexual contact with a minor are against the law, however Rhode Island law also prohibits seeking or grooming a minor for sexual contact. Otherwise known “soliciting a minor,” this offense includes sending lewd messages, indecent materials such as pornography, or arranging to meet with them for sexual or lascivious purposes. If you have been called in for questioning by law enforcement or you’ve been arrested and charged with attempting to solicit a minor, it’s important that you don’t hesitate to reach out to a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible!
The Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey, we understand how serious and life-changing these cases can be, and we’re not afraid to take immediate action to come to your defense and give you the best shot at a fair and successful trial. We’re experienced advocates who understand the harshness and severity of the criminal justice system, and we may be able to come to your aid when you’re facing your prosecution. Whether your case is a simple matter or a high-profile affair that requires the utmost levels of professionalism, we’re by your side and guiding you towards the outcome you’re seeking. And we’ve proven time and time again that we’re capable of doing so, thanks to our outstanding record of success in numerous types of cases.
Call the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey today at (401) 441-5486 for a consultation!
Electronic Solicitation of a Minor
In today’s ultra-connected world, potential solicitors no longer need to risk being in a public place to find a minor to solicit for sexual contact. As such, chatrooms, message boards, and even today’s SmartPhone apps like WhatsApp and Kik have become popular hotspots for soliciting unsuspecting minors because they almost completely guarantee anonymity.
Likewise, they’ve also become targets for sting operations, where law enforcement pose as a teenager and try to convince potential solicitors to send them illicit messages and materials. In some cases, these sting operations go beyond what’s legally allowed by law enforcement, and a defense attorney may be able to help you fight back using a defense of entrapment.
Because these Internet-based cases are so much more complex and difficult to navigate, it’s extremely important that you have an attorney on your side who is familiar with the smallest details of how they work. Attorney Robert Humphrey knows how complex these cases are and has the experience both in and out of the courtroom to provide you with the best possible defense if you’ve been accused of solicitation of a minor in the online sphere.
Child Molestation Charges
Child molestation is when someone engages in sexual contact, including penetration with someone aged 14 or younger. This is one of the most heavily-penalized offenses in Rhode Island’s legal codes, and those who solicit a minor sometimes commit this offense as well. There are two degrees of child molestation:
- First Degree Child Molestation: This is for child molestation involving penetration. Offenders may be imprisoned for anywhere from 25 years to life.
- Second Degree Child Molestation: This is for molestation involving sexual touching or other contact, not including penetration. Offenders may be imprisoned for anywhere between six and 30 years.
Rhode Island prosecutes voyeurism or being a “peeping tom” under the offense of “disorderly conduct.” Using video recording equipment, looking through a window, or even enters someone else’s property with the intent of looking at someone with sexual gratification purposes. Offenders may be subjected by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Indecent exposure is when someone intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly exposes their genitals to someone for purposes of sexual gratification. Offenders may be subjected to a fine of not more than $1,000 for a first offense, and subsequent offenses may also carry up to three years in prison.
Sexting is sending sexually-explicit images or videos via electronic means. This is legal between consenting adults, but when either the sender or receiver is a minor, the offense can be charged. Those who are found guilty of sexting may be required to register as a sex offender.
If you’ve been accused of solicitation of a minor as well as any of the other listed offenses, get help with your charges by contacting the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey today!
I can’t thank you enough for saving my son’s life. We have friends with college-aged students whose lives have been destroyed by one stupid mistake. Your name will be forever emblazoned in my mind. - Lee