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Brad Allen Meryhew

Brad Meryhew’s Answers

54 total

  • I met a girl online on a dating site where id think all were of age. She started texting me, no sex was offered but i sent a pic

    Im from wa and she is from ca. We never talked bout meeting, and there was no sex talk just talking bout us being together and i get a text saying it was her dad. He told me how old she was and that im going to prison. I have stage 4 cancer i dont...

    Brad’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys that this is likely a scam, but I also just tried a case where my client who was in Washington was convicted for sexual online chat with what turned out to be an elementary school student in California. So there is every reason to be cautious and appropriate when engaging in online chat and flirting, and if someone says they are a minor you should immediately discontinue all communications. There are a growing number of online stings in Washington where law enforcement poses as a 15 year old girl offering sex for money, or as a 13 year old girl or boy interested in getting together for sexual contact, and those stings lead to very serious charges.

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  • Is content that is found on the website legal in the united states? This is a criminal question.

    It has pictures and videos of young girls in many clothes including lingerie. Some of the images appear to be very lewd and maybe sexual in nature. Bottom line: Are pictures and videos of young girls in underwear legal in the United States? This i...

    Brad’s Answer

    There is the potential for prosecution for this kind of offense under Washington law and under Federal law. Under Washington law, a person is guilty of possessing or viewing depictions of minors engaged in "sexually explicit conduct." Sexually explicit conduct is defined in RCW 9A.68.011 as:
    (4) "Sexually explicit conduct" means actual or simulated:

    (a) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals;

    (b) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object;
    (c) Masturbation;
    (d) Sadomasochistic abuse;
    (e) Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer;
    (f) Depiction of the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal areas of any minor, or the unclothed breast of a female minor, for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. For the purposes of this subsection (4)(f), it is not necessary that the minor know that he or she is participating in the described conduct, or any aspect of it; and
    (g) Touching of a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or breast area for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.

    As you can see, this definition is very broad and would arguably include just about any nude or even clothed pictures if they are sexually suggestive or involve the child touching themselves in an intimate area.

    Under Federal law, sexually explicit conduct is defined in 18 U.S.C. 2256, and reads:
    (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), “sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated—
    (i) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;
    (ii) bestiality;
    (iii) masturbation;
    (iv) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
    (v) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
    (B) For purposes of subsection 8(B) [1] of this section, “sexually explicit conduct” means—
    (i) graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;
    (ii) graphic or lascivious simulated;
    (I) bestiality;
    (II) masturbation; or
    (III) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
    (iii) graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;

    The definition under Washington state law is broader and encompasses more behavior. Washington also criminalizes the "viewing" of child pornography even if there is no downloading or actual "possession," while Federal law and many other states only criminalize the possession.

    The bottom line is that looking at questionable material depicting children, minors or anyone who is purported to be or appears to be a minor, who are engaged in sexually explicit or even just sexually provocative behavior, can subject you to very serious charges and long periods of incarceration, not to mention sex offender registration, deportation for non-citizens, Probation for long periods of time, and significant restrictions on your ability to move freely in the community, obtain employment and housing, etc. There is plenty of pornography out there that doesn't subject you to these risks, and if you believe pornography is right for you then I would suggest you focus your attention on adults engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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  • Im 15 an my boyfriend is 17 my birthday is feb. 28th an his is march 18th , is it legall to have sexual contact?

    Is it legall?

    Brad’s Answer

    Yes, sexual contact between you and your 17 year old boyfriend would be legal in Washington. While the age of consent is 16, which is the age at which you are free to have sexual contact with whomever you like, it is not illegal for people under 16 to have sexual contact with a person who is close to them in age. For a person aged 14 to 16 it is legal to have sexual contact with someone who is less than 48 months older than them. HOWEVER, it is still illegal to sext, take videos or photographs of a sexually explicit nature, or to have sex as part of a live performance in front of other people until you are 18 years old. Those can be charged as serious crimes so don't do those things (and even once you turn 18 they are not a good idea!).

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  • Is revenge porn now illegal in Washington?

    Is revenge porn now illegal in Washington?

    Brad’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Not yet, but it may be very soon. Substitute House Bill 2160 is moving through the Washington Legislature this session and would create a civil liability for revenge porn. This measure passed the Washington House unanimously and is now before the Washington Senate. This Bill, if enacted, would allow fines of up to $10,000 or actual damage as well as attorney fees and costs. The Bill sanctions the distribution of an intimate image of another if a person intentionally and without the consent of the person distributes the intimate image that was entrusted to them by another person and the distribution intentionally or recklessly causes emotion distress of the depicted person, or if the image was obtained without the person's consent by exceeding the access authorized to the device where the image was stored. This is not yet the law in Washington, but it looks like this Bill has a high chance of passing and becoming law.

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  • Is it illegal for 20 and 16 year old to "role play"

    I have a friend who is 20 lives in alaska but is talkin to a 16 year old in washington.... My question is they talk about sex alot and how they wanna have sex they never will..... Is it illegal for them to do that?

    Brad’s Answer

    Under Washington law it is illegal to communicate in person or over an electronic media with a person who is a minor for immoral purposes of a sexual nature BUT caselaw also makes it clear that if the sexual acts that are being discussed would be legal to do then it is legal to talk about them. The Courts have held, "There is no rational reason under the terms of RCW 9.68A.090, which prohibits communication with a minor for immoral purposes, to prohibit communications about peaceful, consensual sexual conduct which can be legally performed." State v. Luther, 65 Wn.App. 424 (1992). The age of consent in Washington is 16 years of age, so talking about it would be legal. HOWEVER, this communication may violate Alaskan and Federal law, as others have pointed out, so do not rely on this opinion to go ahead with this behavior or you could end up in big trouble. ALSO, you can be charged with very serious sex offense felonies if you send sexually explicit photographs or videos to or receive them from a minor, so no sexting allowed until you are 18 (at which point it is just a very bad idea, but not illegal).

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  • Can a boy that just turned 16 date a girl that's about to be 19 4 months after his birthday in the state of washington?

    The boy was 15 when he met the girl and she was 18... But she turns 19, 4 months after his 16th birthday. Is that illegal for them to date in WA state?

    Brad’s Answer

    The age of consent is 16 in Washington, meaning that at the age of 16 years a person can consent to sexual contact with almost anyone they choose (except relatives, teachers, coaches, work supervisors, etc.) The law also says that teenagers who have sex with each other are not violating the law unless there is a large age difference between them. For a person 14 - 16 years of age, it is legal for them to have sexual contact with a person who is less than 48 months older than them. The other age limits are at the web page linked below.

    So, at age 15 it is legal for a person to have sexual contact with anyone within 48 months older than them, so an 18 year old should be no problem. Once the young man turned 16 it is legal for him to do whatever he wants to do with his 19 year old girlfriend. EXCEPT, until everyone is at least 18 years of age you should not photograph, videotape or perform a sex act in front of other people as those are separate crimes that are not legal at 16 years of age.

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  • Harassment

    What qualifies as harassment over text messages?

    Brad’s Answer

    What you are talking about is essentially cyber stalking under Washington law. What you have to do to be guilty of internet or cyberstalking is not real clear. Under Washington law cyberstalking is when a person intends to harass, intimidate, torment or embarrass another person, and in order to do that makes an electronic communication (email, text, chat, etc.) to that person, either (1) using lewd, indecent or obscene words or images or language, or (2)anonymously and repeatedly whether or not a conversation occurs, or (3) threatening to inflict injury on the person or their property or any ember of their family or household. Cyberstalking is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail for a first offense, but if it involves threats to kill another person or if the person has a prior conviction for harassing the same victim in the past, it is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail. Cybertalking is also one of the few misdemeanor offenses that require a person convicted to provide a DNA sample for future identification purposes.

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  • Understanding child abuse vs corporal punishment issue.

    My 8 year old was acting violently towards me and himself, throwing an object at my face, kicking, hitting, throwing his body. I tried restraining him and slapped him quickly on the face to snap him out of it. The next day, I was suprised he had a...

    Brad’s Answer

    I would strongly encourage you to pursue an appeal of the finding by CPS if you are still within the 30 days after receiving the letter with the finding. I have seen many of these cases resolved during the appeal process far more favorably than the results of the initial investigation. There are serious consequences to this finding for you and your family and you should use whatever tools are available to you to fight this finding. I do think you should consult with counsel to represent you during the appeal process.

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  • What do I do when being accused of molestation?

    My daughter's mother is accusing me of molesting our daughter between the ages of 6-7. She has full custody of our child I have visitations. My daughter's mother has stated now and even before our daughter was born that she will do what ever she h...

    Brad’s Answer

    A great number of allegations of child sexual abuse pop up during custody and visitation battles, and they are often false, but that doesn't mean you should handle these allegations casually. Immediately stop talking to other people in your life about what the allegations are and what did or didn't happen and start talking to an attorney who has significant experience working with people facing these allegations. Many lawyers will tell you to never talk to the police, with or without a lawyer, but in my view there are times when it makes sense to sit down and talk with the investigating Detective. And there are times when it absolutely does not make sense. An experienced attorney can help you make that choice. I work regularly with clients who are under investigation for these kinds of allegations, and I have found that there is much that can be done BEFORE charges are filed.

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  • Can a 15 year old girl and 18 year old boy date if we started dating at 14 and 17?

    His birthday is on may and mine is in april. I turned 15 almost a month before he turned 18

    Brad’s Answer

    Sexual contact with a person between the ages of 14 and 16 is legal if it is with someone who is less than 48 months older than them. If you are less than 48 months apart in age from your boyfriend then your relationship is not illegal. There are rules against photographing or videotaping sexual activity or nudity that apply until you are 18 years of age, so do not engage in any sexting or home videos! Your boyfriend could be charged with very serious crimes if you engage in those behaviors.

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