Electronic Solicitation or a Minor/Electronic Communication of Sexually Explicit Materials
Electronic solicitation of a minor to engage in sexual conduct and Electronic communication of sexually explicit materials to a child are different charges than possession of child pornography. Although all are felony level crimes in Minnesota, electronic solicitation and communication of sexually explicit materials involves a person, 18 years or older, using the internet to talk about sexual matters with the intent to arouse sexual desire of any person. Solicitation of a child to engage in sexual conduct and distributing materials related to sexual conduct are both criminalized under Minnesota law.The law governing these crimes is set forth in Minnesota Statute 609.352. The internet communications do not have to be with a child but rather the crime includes communications with someone believed to be a child. As such, law enforcement may be on the internet posing as a child to engage in chats and/or the exchange of photographs that involve sexual content in order to gather evidence of criminal activity.
A person convicted of the crime of solicitation of a minor or communication of sexually explicit materials to a child can face prison time, be required to register as a sexual offender, be forced to attend sexual offender treatment, have restricted internet access and have no contact with minors.
Such charges are complicated to defend against and logically begin with an analysis of the alleged internet content and a determination as to whether law enforcement can trace the communications to the alleged offender. The State must prove a specific intent to arouse sexual desire. A person charged under this statute may have a variety of defenses including lack of intent, a reasonable belief that the other person was at least 16 years old or entrapment. If you or someone you know is being investigated for electronic solicitation of a minor or communication of sexually explicit materials to children, we recommend you do not talk to law enforcement until after you have consulted with an experienced criminal defense attorney.