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Computer facilitation charges in Wisconsin

Some types of allegations regarding internet activity can lead to a person facing felony charges here in Wisconsin. One is if the person is accused of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. This offense is a Class C felony crime under Wisconsin law.

What is this type of crime? Generally, a person commits this offense if they do all of the following:

  • They communicate with someone through a computerized communication system.
  • They believe the person they are communicating with is under 16 or have reason to believe such.
  • They do the communication with the intent to engage in illegal sexual intercourse/contact with the person (to prove this intent, it must be shown that the defendant actually took some action to further the intent beyond just the communication).

As a note, there is one exception under which a person found to have done all these things will be not be deemed to have committed the offense of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. This is if it is found that they believed (at the time the communication was made) that the person they were communicating with wasn't more than two years younger than them, and this belief was reasonable.

As one can see, this type of crime has a lot of elements to it, so a plethora of different types of evidence can be relevant in cases involving allegations of this offense. There are many different things major evidence-rated issues could arise in connection to in such cases, such as the "communication" element, the "belief" element and the "action furthering intent" proof requirement. So, in addition to being high stakes cases (the penalties for felony charges can be severe) cases involving allegations of this crime can also be very complex.

This is among the reasons why the quality of the defense guidance a person has can matter so much when facing computer facilitation charges in the state.

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