Children who have unsupervised access to the Internet can easily become victims of predators who try to lure them with messages and images into meeting them. It’s a crime in California to send harmful and inappropriate materials to minors in an effort to seduce them.
Definition of Luring a Minor
Luring a minor is a criminal offense committed by an adult, 21 or older, who tries to lure a minor, under 18, away from their home. Since luring a minor by an adult is usually for the purpose of sexual activities this is considered a sex crime.
California Penal Code Section 288.2 and Luring a Minor
California Penal Code Section 288.2, “Harmful Material and Intent to Seduce a Child,” makes it illegal for a person to try and seduce a child, or somebody they believe to be a child, in order to engage them in sexual conduct by giving or sending them “harmful material,” such as pornography, to arouse sexual feelings in either the child or the perpetrator.
This Penal Code applies whether a meeting or sexual activity actually took place. It also applies to materials either given or sent to a child either using electronic means, like the Internet, or in person
Luring a Minor is “Child Enticement”
Luring a minor used to be called “child enticement” and is still used for various offenses such as prostitution, child pornography, and kidnapping. is an older term often used in context with various offenses like child pornography, prostitution, and kidnapping. This “umbrella term” also includes distributing harmful materials to children in an attempt to lure them.
Methods of Luring a Minor
First contact is often made over the Internet, after which the adult will send indecent and/or obscene pictures and other materials to try and persuade or coerce the child, or somebody posing as a child, to leave their home. Then they will usually arrange a meeting at a distant location.
Adults such as this are motivated purely by their desire to lure a minor away from their home and family to engage them in illicit and illegal activities such as child pornography, prostitution, of underage sex.
Defenses to Distribution of Harmful Material
There are two defenses to a charge that you distributed harmful material to a minor:
- First, if a parent or guardian distributed the material to promote legitimate sex education they are not guilty of this offense.
- Second, if the defendant was engaging in legitimate educational or scientific activities they are not guilty of this crime.
To prove the charge of luring a minor the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was not trying to promote legitimate sex education or other legitimate educational or scientific purpose.
If you have been arrested and accused of luring a minor or distributing harmful material with the intent to seduce a child, you need the expert advice and guidance of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800