Sexual Crimes through the Web

The Internet: no doubt it has made every bit of information readily available and messaging in an instant, no matter in which part of the globe a person may be located. Simple clicks of buttons will enable anyone to gather any type of information or, connect with a friend or a kin; these are a couple of the web’s positive uses. On the downside, however, the Internet has made it fast and too easy to execute offensive or criminal activities; hack into private government or personal records; and commit cyber fraud, cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, espionage, and even Internet sex crimes.

These may be less serious offenses compared to the other sexual criminal acts, but Internet sex crimes, nonetheless, have become an alarming concern to governments around the globe due to the very damaging effects these cause in those affected plus the ease with which perpetrators accomplish their offensive and destructive wrongdoings.

Through wired or wireless access to networks, sexual offenders are able to quickly create and disseminate different forms of sexually offensive and abusive materials and sexually-tainted messages, such as photos depicting child pornography and solicitation efforts, which often lead to contact offenses, like sexual assault or rape.

A global, multi-disciplinary organization, called the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), which is committed to helping stop sexual abuse, says that the most common forms of Internet sex offenses include trading and posting on-line of child pornography and sexual chats with children, adolescents or any vulnerable persons. The offender, who is an adult, first convinces their victim to produce or view pornographic images and then convinces them to meet face-to-face (for the committance of the crime). What is alarming about the whole thing is the fact that many teenagers do meet with their future offender more than once, describing such meetings as romantic occasions even.

Equally disturbing are data from the US Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which says that:

– Many teenagers and young adults have willingly shared online with others their naked pictures, some have sent their naked photos through text messaging or through “sexting”;

– Many of those who end up as victims of Internet sex crimes openly talk about sexual topics even with people they do not know while displaying sexually provocative photos/videos online;

– A large number of teenagers and young adults are open to, and have actually participated in, sexting (or the sending of sexually explicit messages, usually with images, from one mobile phone to another).

As explained by the Nashville sexual offense attorneys at Horst Law, the state defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of a person’s genitalia or butt to another person or exposing unwilling bystanders to any manner of sexual contact occurring between two or more participants. However, in order for this law to come into effect, the alleged incident must have occurred in a public place, the private property of a non-participant, or must have been easily visible from a private premise. Furthermore, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that a suspect could have reasonably expected that one of the above actions would be seen by another person, and that these actions would either offend any reasonable person or were for the sole purpose of gratifying the defendant’s sexual appetite.

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