Online Solicitation of a Minor in Virginia
The general meaning of the online solicitation of a minor in accordance with the laws of Virginia is when an adult communicates with a minor online to arrange a meeting between them to engage in a sexual act. A minor is usually someone below the age of 18. The crime is not the result of the sexual act itself but is the result of the communication between the adult and minor for the purpose intended. In the state of Virginia, the online solicitation of a minor crime falls under the category of the use of communication systems to facilitate certain offenses involving minors’ crimes in Virginia law.
In Virginia, the category in which the online solicitation of a minor crime falls has a wide range of possible activities. The category involves the use of a device such as a computer or mobile phone to involve in sex crimes through the internet.
These crimes include but not limited to the following:
- The adult shows his/her sexual parts to the minor via a communicating medium.
- The adult shows some interest in the sexual parts of a minor and suggests that the minor shows them to the adult through a communicating medium.
- The adult suggests that the minor touches his/her private parts and allows the adult to see the action through a communicating medium.
- The adult suggests that the minor and the adult are to engage in a sexual act at some point.
- The adult suggests that the minor should meet with the adult at a specified place to perform the prohibited sexual acts.
Prohibited sexual acts with a minor include the following:
- Sexual intercourse;
- Anal intercourse; and
- Oral sex.
The possession and spreading of child pornography, in accordance with the laws of Virginia, is also an internet sex crime which may be included in online solicitation of a minor. This is the case when an adult decides to share child pornography with a minor through the internet. Usually, in most cases, an internet sex crime charge will not come alone as other offenses will be charged against the adult along the internet sex crime offense. An example of such crimes that accompany an internet sex crime charge is the crime of taking indecent liberties with a child.
The online solicitation of a child is recognized as a felony in the state of Virginia. It may be an unclassified felony or a felony of a certain class depending on certain conditions. The crime is unclassified when there is a difference of at least seven years between the adult and the minor or when the adult had a reason to believe that the minor was below 15 years old and yet decided to go through the solicitation. The punishment for such cases is imprisonment for a period of years that ranges from five to 30 years. When the minor’s age is between 15 to 18 years old, the crime will be recognized as a class five felony. This implies that the punishment for the mentioned crime is imprisonment for a period between one to ten years.