California courts broke new ground recently when they convicted a man of child molestation -though he never actually met his victims in person. Because no one else has ever been convicted of online child molestation, a lot of questions remain -most notably if the charges will be upheld when his Vista child molestation lawyer appeals the case to the state supreme court.
We previously discussed that what is commonly known as “child molestation” is technically referred to as “lewd acts with a child” in the California courts. In that article, we explained that the lewd acts must be for the purpose of sexually gratification, but that they do not need to be explicitly sexual, nor does the guilty party need to actually touch the child physically. That last detail is what makes this case possible and what makes it so interesting to Vista child molestation defense attorneys. What was originally written to prevent adults from asking minors to touch themselves for sexual gratification has now been used to prosecute a man who solicited minors to send him nude photos online.
It is likely the prosecutor chose to pursue child molestation charges against the defendant is because his behavior otherwise fell into a number of loopholes. While he was guilty of possession of child pornography, he did not technically solicit a minor for sex since he did not attempt to arrange to meet any of the children. Since he did not provide indecent materials of his own, he could not have been charged with sending harmful matter with the intent to solicit a minor. At the same time, the fact that he directly interacted with the minors in order to solicit the nude pictures, prosecutors likely believed that he was guilty of more than simple child pornography charges. Even so, his Vista child molest defense lawyer says that he just doesn’t see the actions qualifying as child molestation.
It will be interesting to see how the appeal goes in this case. In the meanwhile, now that one person has been convicted for online child molestation, it opens the door for additional charges of this type to be filed against new defendants. If you have been accused of molestation or believe you may be accused of any type of sex crime involving a minor, please call top Vista child molestation criminal attorney Peter M. Liss as soon as possible. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons Image by Marcie Casas