Enticement of a child or minor
Enticement of a Minor
Utah law section 76-7-401 states enticement of a minor (defined as anyone under the age of 18) occurs when a person uses the internet or text messaging to:
- solicit, seduce, lure or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity or
- attempts to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice a person the actor believes to be a minor to engage in sexual activity
That means, in plain English, any attempt to lure a minor through online text or conversations in a chat room, instant messenger, email, or a social media application, is a crime, and a very serious one.
The fact that the person receiving such texts was law enforcement and not a minor, does not constitute a defense. The defendant’s perceived status of the victim as a minor is what matters.
Sentencing and Punishment
Sentencing and punishment depend on various factors. If the defendant is under 18, the crime is a class A misdemeanor, which could carry a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.
If the defendant is over 18 years of age, however, enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity is a first-degree felony punishable by no fewer than three years, which may be for life.
If the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense listed in subsection 5(b) (including enticing a minor, child kidnapping, rape, rape of a child, object rape, and other crimes contained therein), the court will not grant probation, enter judgment for lower category of offense, suspend the execution or imposition of sentence or order hospitalization.
Class A, B, and C misdemeanors could apply to enticement of a minor as well, depending on the kinds of acts the minor was enticed to perform. If a sexual activity would have constituted as a Class A misdemeanor, for instance, then according to § 76-4-401(4)(d), the charge would be a class B misdemeanor.
Penalties and sentencing change with each charge
- Class C misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
- Class A misdemeanors carry a year in jail with a possible $2,500 fine.
- Third-degree felony charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
- Second-degree felony charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- First-degree felony charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Liberty Law
If you are charged with or think you may be charged with enticement of a minor, please contact the lawyers at Liberty Law today. With more than 20 years of experience, we are very familiar with the Utah legal system. We will work for an acquittal or lesser charges. Call us today for a free consultation at 801-709-6309.