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What Qualifies as Solicitation of a Minor?

Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Aug. 24, 2021

According to recent statistics from the National Children's Alliance, approximately 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online before the age of 18. Soliciting or asking a minor to partake in a sexual act during a conversation is a serious offense in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If convicted, the defendant could be facing a lengthy prison sentence, massive fines, registration as a sex offender, and other legal and social consequences.

If you have been arrested and charged with the sexual solicitation of a minor, it is crucial that you retain a highly skilled and aggressive Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire, and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I have the legal resources and experience to represent individuals facing sex crimes charges, including the solicitation of a minor. My firm is proud to serve clients across the Greater Pittsburgh area, including the Indiana Township, Ross Township, and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. Call today for a free initial phone consultation.

Solicitation of a Minor in Pennsylvania

Solicitation of a minor can be described as a criminal offense that occurs when someone, while interacting with a minor child, asks him or her to take part in a sexual act with them. According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 Section 6301(a)(1)(ii), an adult who corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, by a sexual act, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any sexual offense commits a felony of the third degree.

Unlawful Contact with a Minor

Pursuant to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 Section 6318(a), a person commits an offense of "unlawful contact with a minor" if he is intentionally in contact with a minor for the purpose of engaging in any of the following prohibited activities:

  • A sexually related offense

  • Open lewdness

  • Prostitution

  • Obscene and other materials and performances

  • Sexual abuse of children

  • Sexual exploitation of children

Laws Regarding Online Solicitation

Online solicitation of a minor can be described as any kind of online communication or conversation that involves an adult actively seeking out a minor and requesting him or her to meet up and engage in sexual activities. Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal for an adult to go online and solicit a minor to take part in sexual activity with them.

Possible Penalties

The punishment for online solicitation of a minor in Pennsylvania depends on the surrounding circumstances of the case.

Unlawful Contact With A Minor

This is considered a third-degree felony. Punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. However, if the defendant met with the minor child and engaged in sexual activity or any other sex crime, they will face charges and receive punishment for any additional offenses committed.

Possible Legal Defenses

If you're facing allegations of online solicitation of a minor, your attorney can fight your charges using any of the following defenses:

  • You had a non-sexual motivation for the meeting

  • You had no knowledge that the victim was a minor

  • Entrapment

  • The police officer posing as a minor failed to follow the law

Criminal Defense Experience You Can Trust

At the end of the day, facing sex crimes allegations can result in devastating, long-lasting consequences to your liberty, reputation, quality of life, and potential future opportunities. If convicted, you could be facing hefty fines, a prison sentence, sex offender registration, and other life-changing ramifications. That’s why it is so important to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney if you are under investigation for online sexual solicitation of a minor. A skilled attorney can help protect your rights and outline a strong defense for your case.

As the founder of Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I am dedicated to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and aggressive representation to individuals facing sex crime charges, including the sexual solicitation of a minor. As your lawyer, I will review all of the details of your case, conduct an in-depth investigation, and strategize an effective defense strategy aimed at maximizing your chances of achieving a successful outcome.

Using my extensive experience and legal understanding, I will help you navigate the Pennsylvania criminal justice system. I will fight vigorously to defend your legal rights and do everything I possibly can to make sure these allegations do not ruin your life.

If you’re facing sex crime charges of any kind, contact my firm — Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. — today to schedule a simple case evaluation with an experienced Pennsylvania sex crimes defense attorney. I can offer you the experienced legal guidance, strong advocacy, and reliable representation you need for your case. My firm is proud to serve clients in Pittsburgh, Indiana Township, Ross Township, and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. Call or reach out today to learn more about how I can help you with your case.