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LOS ANGELES, CA, August 28, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Sex crimes are unique types of cases because they involve a crime against an individual's body. Unlike many other types of criminal cases, sex crimes are not monetary crimes and do not involve a person's property. In sex crimes cases, we are often dealing with a crime of power that can potentially create lasting psychological damage. The common perception is that in a sex crimes case, the alleged victim has been robbed of something intangible and valuable by the accused.
We can all sympathize with a victim of rape but what about a person who is falsely accused of it? What crime has been committed against them? It can be argued that this accused individual is having the same type of intangible freedoms and power taken away. A person accused of a crime he or she didn't commit, especially a sex crime, will undoubtedly ruin his or her reputation in the community. Even if he or she is later absolved of the crime, the damage is already done. The media coverage is always more intense over the alleged crime than the actual dismissal of that crime.
There are many different types of sex crimes that people can be accused of including: rape, molestation and child pornography, just to name a few. With the proliferation of the Internet over the past decade an entire new set of sex crimes has been introduced to society. These crimes are real and are punished just as severely as other types of sex crimes.
Date rape is a form of rape that happens between two individuals that already know each other. In the cases where a false claim of rape is alleged one of several things tends to happen: (1) Alcohol is usually involved. In these cases a person's judgment may be impaired and they may consent to a sexual act that they later regret. (2) A parent may find out about the sexual activity that occurred and become adamant that his or her child must report the act to law enforcement. Therefore, in some cases involving consensual sex, a man may be accused of date rape when no crime actually occurred.
"Sexting" has become one of many technology-based crimes. "Sexting" is sending pornographic material through cell phones. It could be text messages with strong sexual language or pictures with pornographic content. The cell phones have made connecting with each other very easy and it has also made the jump from a state to a federal crime even easier. For example, if someone sends you a picture of a naked girl under the age of 18 and you forward that on to a friend in another state, you've just committed a federal crime. This may have been done innocently and without the knowledge that the girl was a minor but your freedom could still be in jeopardy.
Child pornography is an emotionally and morally charged topic which stirs up lots of heated emotions in the community where it is alleged to have occurred. A person arrested for child porn is likely to have his or her reputation damaged for life. There are many cases where a person may unknowingly download a picture that would be considered child pornography. The picture may have been mislabeled or was sent to them through a spamming website. If a person is caught with these pictures on their hard drive it may put them in jeopardy of defending the downloaded content in court.
Chat rooms are also popular places where child pornography crimes may occur. Although chat rooms may have been designed primarily for men to meet women in some cases these women are not of legal age (under 18). If a man is caught chatting, in a sexually-explicit manner, with a girl that is under age, he may be charged with a crime. The "I didn't know she wasn't 18" defense may not be enough to keep you out of trouble.
The Internet has given rise to many more forms of child pornography including peer-to-peer sharing, morphed images, and online police sting operations. There are law enforcement agencies that pose as minors to try and lure men to chat with them. If you have seen the popular show, "To Catch a Predator", you have an idea of what is going on. Therefore, being in the wrong place at the wrong time could get you into hot water with the law.
Sexual crimes are serious offenses. Women, children, and every other citizen, deserves to have their body protected but these same people also deserve to have their reputation and their freedom remain unmarred by false allegations of sex crimes. We are all innocent until proven guilty. And this is important to remember, because one day you could be on the wrong end of a text message, or a cyberchat, that you never asked for, or intended, to receive.
The Internet has opened us up to a world of information, videos, and social networking. It has created a positive effect on most of our lives and allowed us to do things we never thought possible. The feeling of anonymity is strong but false. Even though "big brother" is probably not watching, he can find out what you've been up to after the fact. Protect yourself by using the Internet responsibly so you can rest assured that Chris Hansen will not be knocking on your door anytime soon.
White Goldstein is a knowledgeable and experienced sex crimes criminal defense firm. For a free, confidential consultation regarding your case, call: (877) 779-3946 or (877) 77 WE-WIN or visit their website at www.whitegoldlaw.com
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