A conviction for unlawful contact with a minor can upend a life. Not only is prison possible, but long-term placement on a sex-offender registry is required and enormous stigma is likely. It is extremely important to launch an aggressive defense as quickly as possible when you have been charged with any sex crime, including unlawful contact with minors.
If you are facing unlawful contact with minors charges in the Pennsylvania area, call Brian Manchester, an experienced unlawful contact with minors defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. Call today. It is important to begin working on your defense immediately.
Unlawful Contact with Minors: The Statute in Pennsylvania
The statute that makes unlawful contact with a minor a crime is typically used to prosecute men accused of trying to meet minors for sex online. The “minors” with whom these men interact are often police decoys. The use of this statute sometimes raises troubling questions, as it does not require that a defendant make direct contact with a minor; distant means of contact such as the Internet and telephone are sufficient. A person commits the crime of unlawful contact with a minor if he intentionally comes into contact with a minor (or a law enforcement officer posing as a minor) for certain sexual reasons. These include the commission of a sex crime; open lewdness; prostitution; the display or distribution of obscene materials; the making, distribution or possession of child pornography; and the sexual exploitation of children. The severity of the penalties for unlawful contact with a minor depends on the underlying crime; the maximum penalty for that crime is the maximum penalty for unlawful contact with a minor. Where the underlying crime is rape of a child who was seriously injured during the offense, unlawful contact with a minor carries a possible penalty of life in prison. In any case, the lowest possible charge is a third-degree felony punishable by as many as seven years in prison. Defendants convicted of this crime are required to register as sex offenders for 10 years once they are released from jail or prison.
Unlawful Contact With Minors: The Underlying Crimes in Pennsylvania
Unlawful contact with minors is charged in addition to whatever underlying crime a defendant is accused of committing. The sex crimes for which this applies include rape (forcible or unwitting sex), child rape (any sex with a child younger than 13), involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (forcible or unwitting anal sex, oral sex or penetration with a foreign object), involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child (any anal sex, oral sex or foreign penetration of a child younger than 13), statutory sexual assault (consensual sex with a child younger than 16), sexual assault (nonconsensual sex), institutional sexual assault of a minor (sex between staff at correctional institutions or schools and inmates or students younger than 18), aggravated indecent assault (sexual penetration where the victim is unwilling or unwitting, is younger than 13, or is between 13 and 15 where the offender is at least 20), indecent assault (“indecent contact” where the victim is unwilling or unwitting, is younger than 13, or is between 13 and 15 where the offender is at least 20), indecent exposure, and sexual intercourse with an animal. Open lewdness (lewd acts committed in public), child prostitution, child pornography (which includes the making of child pornography, its simple possession, and its possession for distribution), the display of sexually explicit materials to minors, the distribution of obscene materials, and the sexual exploitation of children (procuring a child for another person for sexual reasons) are also included as underlying offenses.
If you or a loved one are in the Pennsylvania area and have been charged with unlawful contact with minors, call Brian Manchester, an experienced unlawful contact with minors defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. He can help you build the defense you need today.