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What is Solicitation of a Minor? What Qualifies as It?

“Solicitation of a minor” refers to any attempt to get a minor to do something illegally, most often sexual in nature. This is a crime that can be punished by fines, up to 1 year in jail, and up to 5 years of probation.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What Qualifies as Solicitation of a Minor?

Solicitation is asking, encouraging, causing, or coercing a person to engage in a sexual act. When that person is under the age of 16, it qualifies as solicitation of a minor. There is no requirement that any act actually occurred, merely that the adult solicited the minor.

What's the Difference Between Solicitation and Prostitution?

Legally speaking, solicitation refers to offering something of value in exchange for a sexual or lewd favor, whereas prostitution is the act of providing sexual or lewd favors in exchange for something of value, most often money.

Read Also: California Solicitation Laws

Is it Illegal to Talk to a Minor Online?

Talking to a minor online isn't automatically illegal. It all depends on why you are contacting the other person. Suggestive language or sexual requests can result in a criminal charge. Using the Internet to arrange a meeting with a minor for lewd and lascivious acts can be charged as a felony and is punishable by up to 3 years in state prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Read Also: What if a Minor Lies About Their Age Online?

What is the Federal Sentence for Online Solicitation of a Minor?

Under U.S. Code 18 Sections 2422 and 2423, punishment for solicitation of a minor over the Internet can result in fines of up to $250,000, 10 years in jail for a misdemeanor charge, and a maximum sentence of life in prison for a felony charge.

What is the Defense for Solicitation of a Minor?

Criminal defense attorneys draw upon certain legal strategies to challenge the solicitation of minor charges. These strategies include attempting to demonstrate that the accused:

  • Had no intent or purpose to engage in a sexual act with the minor
  • Did not know or believe that the alleged “victim” was a minor, and/or
  • Was entrapped.

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