Interviewer: Sex crimes are a pretty broad theme. What are typical types of crimes that are considered sex crimes that you handle in your practice?
Attorney Churak: It would start with probably the lowest category which would be an indecent exposure, a disorderly conduct situation. That’s usually where somebody is exposing them self in public or urinates behind a building, coming out of a bar and is arrested.
That would be the lowest level. They are usually non-registration type cases except they don’t look good on your criminal record when a criminal record background check is done.
Moving up to the categories of the more serious ones would start with the crimes that have the actual contact involved. That could start with indecency with a child such as fondling a child to sexual assault or rape of a person, either a child or an adult.
Then you get into the electronic media offenses as I call them, which include internet solicitation, child pornography, and sexual performance by a child. These types of crimes seem to becoming more and more prevalent.
Interviewer: I’ve heard in many states, the police, are staking out sites such as Craigslist and other online advertising places where they’ll pretend to be an underage person to entice individuals involved in child pornography.
Attorney Churak: That happens all the time and quite frankly, 9 out of 10 times, the person you’re communicating with online on these situations, especially if they let you know they’re a minor right off the bat or within the first couple of communications is usually a police officer.
People don’t realize that but the police officers just play along with them. They are careful not to do entrapment. They just answer questions and what they try to do is get the individual to admit that he knows that it’s a child and that the child is under a certain age.
Interviewer: What is the criminal name for that type of action? Is the crime just talking to someone underage online?
Attorney Churak: It is called solicitation to the minors. You can communicate with them but when the language carries a sexual connotation or is an invitation to get together or they begin exchanging photographs then it becomes a crime. You don’t even actually have to physically with the person.
Just by talking, having sexual connotations in your communications and talking about possibly meeting up or sending photographs through the Internet or sexually themed texts can be a crime.