The appeal of Internet chat rooms is usually being able to hide behind the computer screen, which can quickly turn the Web into a dangerous place. A 51-year-old man from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, is facing felony charges this week after engaging in video chats and text messages involving sexual activity with a child.
The then-14-year-old girl, also from Wisconsin, admitted to meeting the man in a Yahoo chat room during the summer of 2011. Both parties agree that the chats began innocently enough, but soon after the two started video chatting and text messaging things started to take on a sexual nature. During video chats, the man began asking the young girl to touch herself, according to the criminal complaint. The mother of the young girl brought this to the attention of authorities after viewing inappropriate text messages on her daughter's cellphone.
The girl maintains that on several occasions she told the man she was only 14. While he admitted that things became sexual, the man told police he was under the impression that she was 18. The man, charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, will appear in court for his first appearance on Nov. 6. If convicted, he stands to face a maximum of six years in jail and a fine of $10,000.
If you've been accused of an Internet sex crime, it's important to know your rights and seek professional legal advisement right away. The Internet can be a tricky and dangerous place with undercover detectives pursuing sexual predators by using sometimes questionable tactics to suggest criminal activity, but with the help of attorneys well-versed in this area of criminal defense, the chances of a lesser punishment are much greater.
Source: Living Lake Country.com, "Man charged in internet sex crime," Donna Frake, Oct. 22, 2012
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