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Louisiana man faces charges of online solicitation of minor

Louisiana and federal authorities are zealous in enforcing the laws against sex crimes involving children. The police track down the alleged perpetrators of these crimes using methods they rarely, if ever, use in going after other alleged criminals, and those convicted face extremely serious penalties.

Recently, a Louisiana man was arrested after the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department said he attempted to solicit a minor to have sex with him. Police said he used an online identity to contact a person he thought was an underage female and, using graphic terms, asked if her to have sex with him. In fact, the person on the other end was a police investigator working undercover. Investigators said they were able to track the online identity to the man's address, and later arrested him.

Police said the man had been arrested this March after what they described as a similar incident involving another undercover investigator. Police said the man used the same online identity in that incident as he did in the more recent incident.

The man has been charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile and computer aided solicitation of a minor.

In criminal law, solicitation is requesting, encouraging or demanding someone engage in criminal conduct. Traditionally, solicitation charges came up most commonly in cases involving prostitution. In recent years, Louisiana and federal prosecutors have often used Internet chat rooms to track down people they suspect of trying to solicit underage people to have sex with them. In some of these cases, the suspect may never actually touch a child, but may still face charges that are almost as serious as those who do.

Those who are convicted of felonies find that their record follows them around for years after they are released from prison, but in the case of sex crime convictions, this kind of legacy is particularly pronounced. Those convicted of sex crimes may face jail time and fines, and may be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry, which can damage a person's personal and professional life for years or decades to come. The computer or other equipment used in commission of the crime may be seized and sold at auction. It's crucial that Louisiana residents facing allegations of sex crimes against children get help building a strong defense.

Source: Red Stick Now, "EBR Sheriff Arrests Man for Computer Aided Solicitation of a Minor," Oct. 5, 2013

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