Of the many different scenarios that can lead someone to be charged with a sex crime, one of the most frustrating for defendants is a sexual relationship that appears to be consensual. But it's important to remember that even if your actions are reciprocated, you could be breaking the law.
Many law enforcement officials who handle sex crimes say that online solicitation of minors is a growing epidemic. But it's difficult to say whether the rise in arrests for these Internet crimes is due to an increase in so-called predators or the investigations conducted to find them. The efforts police make to catch suspects in the act often require them to make plans in person. Some undercover detectives even make suggestions of illegal activity that the suspects might not have engaged in otherwise.
Often when we think of white collar crimes, we imagine elaborate schemes that are months or even years in the making. But sometimes charges arise out of crimes of opportunity, and the person accused may not have given much thought to his or her actions or their consequences.
A man from the Milwaukee area will have to answer to charges that stem from a series of incidents 13 years ago, when he was just 11 years old. The Greenfield, Wisconsin man, now 24, has been accused of the sexual assault of his stepsister when she was 5 years old.
A man from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, has been charged by a federal grand jury with receipt of underage pornography and possession of underage pornography, two federal crimes that come with significant prison sentences, fines and a lifetime of supervised release.
This week Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills intended to offer better protection for crime victims and make it easier for police to investigate suspects. At least one of the new laws removes a key criminal defense protection.
If you're suspected by police of committing a crime, you can expect to be thoroughly investigated. But how far can and should that investigation go before authorities themselves break the law? When it comes to drug charges, there are limits to the searches police are allowed to conduct. Currently seven Milwaukee officers and a sergeant are being investigated on suspicion they conducted illegal strip searches of drug suspects.
One of the most controversial aspects of sex offenses is the concern that a convicted sex offender released after completing a sentence may reoffend, which is the reason we have sex offender registries. The problem is that no one can predict whether a sex offender will commit another crime, and to assume so is unfair to the convict, who has already served a sentence for his offense.