Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation in Arizona
According to ARS 13-3554, an individual can be accused of luring a minor for sexual exploitation if they offer or solicit sexual conduct to another individual while knowing or under the belief that the other individual is a minor (under 18-years-old).
The “belief" part of this particular statute is very important to note. This is because an individual can still be arrested and convicted of luring a minor for sexual exploitation if the “minor" in the case was not really a minor, but was actually an undercover police officer just mimicking a minor. In some cases, a police officer will log on to an Internet chat room, where they pose as a child and attempt to interact with possible perpetrators. Once the undercover police officer has obtained enough evidence against a perpetrator, the officer will then suggest that the two of them “meet-up". When the perpetrator arrives to meet the “minor" in person, the perpetrator is arrested instead.
Under Arizona law, a luring charge is considered to be a ‘Dangerous Crime Against Children’ if the “minor" is 15-years-old or younger. If convicted of luring a “minor" under the age of 15, the defendant will face a minimum of 5 years in state prison. In addition, the defendant will not be eligible for probation. A luring charge can sometimes be seen as unfair to the defendant, and a Phoenix criminal defense attorney can help individuals protect their rights.