Just the attempt to commit a criminal act can result in charges being filed, no matter the outcome. Additionally, attempting to solicit another person to commit a crime, even if the offense is never undertaken, is a punishable offense. A Wisconsin man was recently alleged to have used Craigslist to solicit another man to commit sex crimes, with charges being filed for attempted sexual assault and kidnapping.
The 21-year-old Plymouth man is alleged to have attempted to hire a 56 year-old-man to kidnap and film the sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman. The men made contact through a posting in the adult section of Craigslist, where the older man claims that communications escalated to him being asked to commit the crimes. The man says that after being provided pictures of the woman along with her automobile information and home address, he provided the information to the police in April 2015.
The police subpoenaed Craiglist and gained the email address of the ad owner. The accused purportedly posted the listing just weeks after having been convicted of stalking the woman in March 2015. Probation violations led to his re-sentencing for stalking on Jan. 10 of this year, but he had already accumulated the same amount of time in sentence credit.
After that sentencing, the man was picked up for a probation hold. At that time, his cell phone was seized and searched. Through that search the police claim to be able to tie the ownership of the email address of the Craiglist ad to the accused. This led to the most recent charges being filed against the man, for which he is held on $1 million bail.
A conviction for sex crimes and kidnapping in Wisconsin can result in significant jail time and other penalties. However, the evidence presented from online solicitations can sometimes be less than perfect and tying it to the accused may be difficult to accomplish. Through careful examination of the evidence presented and of the device claimed to have been used to commit the alleged acts, a skilled attorney can focus on preparing the best possible defense to try to eliminate or reduce the charges against the defendant.
Source: jsonline.com, “Plymouth man accused of soliciting rape of teen“, Jan. 23, 2017