If There is No Actual Minor, How Can I Be Charged?03-Jul-2015
Earlier this month, Canadian County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 24-year-old Oklahoma City man they say was trying to meet an underage girl for sex.
Deputies say Korbin Shane Kenmore sent a Facebook friend request to a fake profile purporting to be a 14-year-old girl. The profile had been set up by the Canadian County Sheriff's Office in an attempt to attract "online predator." Investigators say the communication between the suspect and the decoy quickly turned sexual and graphic, and the pair arranged to meet in Yukon for sex during Kenmore's lunch break.
Reports say that as investigators watched the scene of the arranged meeting, Kenmore arrived and went back and forth between two retail establishments looking for the "girl" he was supposed to meet. Instead, sheriff's deputies confronted him. They say that the man refused to comply with their demands and "had to be taken down." Investigators claim that, although the suspect resisted arrest, he eventually confessed to chatting online with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl and that he had arranged to meet her for sex.
Deputies arrested him and transported him to the Canadian County Jail. He has since been released on $50,000 bond.
Kenmore has been charged in Canadian County with one count of Soliciting Sexual Conduct or Communication with Minor by use of Technology (21 O.S. § 1040.13a). In the past many people have tried to use as a defense to this and similar charges that they did not break any law by engaging in sexual communication with an undercover investigator because they did not, in fact, chat with a minor. Instead, all sexual communication took place between adults. How could a person be convicted of "soliciting sexual communication with a minor" if there is no minor involved in the case?
Oklahoma law has circumvented this argument by explicitly clarifying the statute regarding online solicitation of a minor to include a prohibition against sexual communication with anyone a person believes to be a minor:
A. It is unlawful for any person to facilitate, encourage, offer or solicit sexual conduct with a minor, or other individual the person believes to be a minor, by use of any technology, or to engage in any communication for sexual or prurient interest with any minor, or other individual the person believes to be a minor, by use of any technology. For purposes of this subsection, "by use of any technology" means the use of any telephone or cell phone, computer disk (CD), digital video disk (DVD), recording or sound device, CD-ROM, VHS, computer, computer network or system, Internet or World Wide Web address including any blog site or personal web address, e-mail address, Internet Protocol address (IP), text messaging or paging device, any video, audio, photographic or camera device of any computer, computer network or system, cell phone, any other electrical, electronic, computer or mechanical device, or any other device capable of any transmission of any written or text message, audio or sound message, photographic, video, movie, digital or computer-generated image, or any other communication of any kind by use of an electronic device.
Online solictation of a minor is a felony sex crime. Penalties include a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and sex offender registration.
Despite state law designed to close a loophole regarding the presence of an actual minor, there are still several defenses available to those who have been charged with a crime as a result of an internet sex sting. Call 405-778-4800 to learn more.
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