Even an accusation of enticing a child for indecent purposes can have life-altering consequences. The charges alone can leave an inedible mark on your reputation, and a conviction can not only lead to serious jail time, but also to life-long registration as a sex offender.
Even before you are formally charged, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced attorney. Working proactively, they can investigate the particulars of the case against you and begin building your defense or even avoid charges before they are issued. Your attorney will start by examining all the evidence, possibly even working with the prosecution to discredit their findings before a warrant is even issued. And if they can’t, they can still prove your innocence in court and have charges dismissed.
What You Need to Know
Georgia law defines enticing a child for indecent purposes as, “soliciting, enticing, or taking a child under the age of 16 years to any place for the purpose of molesting the child or committing indecent acts.” Being charged with this crime does not require actual sexual contact – in some cases, allegations of an attempt are enough to warrant charges. And unless prosecuted as a misdemeanor, there is no statute of limitations.
Generally considered a felony, enticing a child for indecent purposes can only be considered a misdemeanor if the perpetrator is 18 years of age or younger and if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old. Otherwise, it carries the full weight of a felony charge, including a prison term of between 10 and 30 years and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Once you’re registered, you’re registered for life, with consequences that include:
- Restrictions on Residency: As a registered sex offender, you will be prohibited from living near places children may gather such as daycare centers, parks, playgrounds and schools.
- Fewer Employment Options: You will also be barred from working in certain fields, such as in a school, in a spa or salon, at clothing stores with changing rooms or in positions that could hold power over others such as psychiatrist or doctor.
- Lack of Privacy: Registration as a sex offender places you on a registry with your name and address as public information.
- Loss of Parental Rights: Any charge that results in registration as a sex offender can give your child’s other parent leverage to deny your child custody privileges.
- Public Stigma: Those convicted of these charges face a lifetime of prejudice and intolerance, with even friends and family ostracizing them and viewing them as a threat.
How to Defend Against These Charges
To make a charge of enticing a child for indecent purposes “stick,” the prosecution must prove two key elements. The first is the intention to commit indecent acts or molestation with the victim. The second is that there was some form of verbal or physical enticement that led the victim to go with the perpetrator.
One common source of these kinds of charges comes from online sting operations, wherein a member of law enforcement poses as a child on apps or websites. Aside from the obvious entrapment issues this presents, these fake profiles often feature photos of someone who is an adult and never state the age of the “victim” outright.
As such, it is possible to craft a legal defense that the defendant was, themselves, enticed by law enforcement into committing a crime.
But even in cases where charges aren’t the result of a sting operation, there are several ways to defend against them, including:
- Excluding evidence and filing motions to erode the case against you and prove the accusations false.
- Providing an alibi in the form of proof that you were not present at the time of the incident.
- Proving that the victim was of legal age at the time of the incident.
But the most effective way to defend against these allegations is to hire a law firm that knows how to win even unwinnable cases. At the Turner Law Firm, we proudly defend you against a criminal justice system that has a vested interest in securing a conviction at all costs. With the right preparation and experience, there is no case that can’t be won.
Submit your contact information below for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.