Committing Crimes on the Internet: Child Pornography and Interactions with Minors

Amir: The most prevalent one has been the use of a computer to transmit or store child pornography. That is certainly something that continues to be investigated and prosecuted rather heavily. However, more recently, the investigations have been focusing on two sets of specific statutes dealing with traveling to meet a minor.

What’s happening is law enforcement officials are setting up these rather complex stings where they will post an advertisement on Craigslist. The advertisement will say something to the effect of “20 something year-old, white female looking for a fun time.” Nothing that is overt, but it is kind of understood that it is someone looking to get together with someone else to have sex.

When the person responds to that, in the stings that we have represented clients on, there are generally either e-mails that either then go into text messages and/or phone calls, or it’s just purely e-mails. You have a tangible trail of conversation where they immediately say that, “Oh well, I couldn’t say this on the ad, but my cousin is interested in partying, and she is only 15,” or “My little sister is in town and she is only 15.” Then they try to drive the conversation toward the 15-year-old and utilize that as a means of continuing an investigation to see if they take the bait.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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