New York Cyber Sex Crimes
In recent years the internet has made it easy and efficient to pursue certain criminal activities. For that reason, many sex crimes are now completed online. For example, child pornography can now be quickly downloaded from the internet and saved on personal computers and other electronic devices. Adults often use the internet to befriend teens and younger children, eventually arranging to meet with them in order to commit child sexual assault, kidnapping and other crimes. Or adults maintain online relationships with children that involve the exchange of sexually explicit materials. Through the use of webcams it is now possible to create child pornography. It is now even common to solicit or promote prostitution via the internet. These crimes, when committed using the internet are collectively referred to as cyber sex crimes. Law enforcement has responded to the proliferation of cyber sex crimes by using both high-tech and traditional crime-fighting methods to identify and arrest those committing cyber sex crimes. However, in their zeal to crack down on cyber sex crimes, law enforcement does not always get it right. Being accused of a sex crime is enough to cause you embarrassment and to damage both your personal and professional reputations. If you have been accused of a cyber sex crime, it is important to get in front of the situation and immediately contact an experienced New York Cyber Sex Crimes Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work closely with you to resolve the case as quickly as possible.
- New York Sex Crimes Lawyer
- New York Penal Law Child Molestation
- New York Penal Law Child Pornography
- New York Penal Law Child Sexual Assault
- New York Penal Law Cyber Sex Crimes
- New York Penal Law Date Rape
- New York Penal Law Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- New York Penal Law Criminal Fondling
- New York Penal Law Indecent Exposure
- New York Penal Law Lewd Acts
- New York Penal Law Possession of Child Pornography
- New York Penal Law Rape
- New York Penal Law Sexual Abuse
- New York Penal Law Sexual Assault
- New York Penal Law Sexual Battery
- New York Penal Law Sex with a Minor
- New York Penal Law Statutory Rape
Consequences of a Cyber Sex Crime Conviction
Possessing Child Pornography. It is illegal under both New York State law and federal law to possess child pornography. The New York Penal Code refers to possession of child pornography as the crime of possessing a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. N.Y. Pen Law §§ 263.16, 263.11. The term "possess" means not just holding a physical copy of the child pornography. It also refers to accessing digital images on the internet. In People v. Vanness, 2013 NY Slip Op 03506 (2013), the police found child pornography on the defendant's computer, leading to an indictment on three counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. As long as you access it with the intent to view it, you have committed the crime of possessing a sexual performance by a child or possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. An obscene sexual performance involves a performance that has no artistic, political, literary or scientific value and appeals to the public's prurient interest in sex. N.Y. Pen Law § 235.00(1)
If you are found to be in possession of child pornography that you found on the internet, you may also face federal possession of child pornography charges. 18 U.S.C. § 2252. The federal statute is likely to be implicated any time images are downloaded from the internet.
Luring of a child. Luring is a crime that involves inducing a child to get into a vehicle, or to go into an isolated area or building in order to commit a crime such as compelling prostitution, incest, or promoting a sexual performance by a child. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 120.70(1). In recent years there have been many cases when an adult becomes friendly with a child through a social media site or in some other way online and eventually gets the child to agree to meet in person. Upon meeting the child is sexually assaulted, kidnapped, or injured or exploited.
Prostitution. Prostitution is a sex crime that involves paying someone for sex or agreeing to pay someone for sex. N.Y. Pen Law § 230.00. It is a Class A misdemeanor. This becomes a cyber sex crime if you go online and make the arrangements to meet with the prostitute, or if you actually pay for the services online. The crime of promoting prostitution can also be completed online. Promoting prostitution can include advancing prostitution by soliciting clients for the prostitute. In other words, promoting prostitution can include online marketing. N.Y. Pen Law § 230.15.
Disseminating indecent material to minors. It is against the law to sell to minors indecent material. Indecent materials include any visual representation such as photograph, painting, book, magazine, sculpture or movie of a nude person or of a person engaging in sexual conduct or sadomasochistic conduct. If you do so via the internet or via any other means, you would have committed the crime of disseminating indent materials to minors in the second degree. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 235.21. It is also crime to use a computer to provide minors under the age of 17 with sexually explicit materials in order to invite the minor to perform sexual intercourse or other sexual activity. If you do so, you would have committed the crime of disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 235.22
The sentences for cyber sex crimes range from 6 or 10 years probation, to up to 1 year in jail, to several years in prison. Your sentence could also be a combination of probation and incarceration. However, cyber sex crimes often are accompanied by other sex crime charges. For example, if you are accused of luring of a child, depending on the facts of the case, you may also be charged with rape, criminal sexual act or some other type of sexual assault. A prostitution charge may be accompanied by a sex trafficking charge. The more charges you face, the more severe the potential sentence you face. If you are convicted of violating a federal cyber sex crime statute, you could face 20 or more years in prison.
Of course, there is always the possibility that you may be sentenced to just probation. If you are a first time offender, there will be no required minimum prison sentence for being convicted of most sex crimes. This means that the judge may sentence you to just 6 or 10 years probation. While on probation you will be required to follow a set of rules. If you break any of the rules, a judge could revoke your probation and resentence you to prison. The rules vary from person to person but may include that you must have a job, you must avoid disreputable people, you must avoid disreputable places, you must stick to a curfew, you must submit to warrantless searches, and you must not commit another crime.
If you are convicted of a cyber sex crime you will have to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). SORA requires sex offenders to provide a designated law enforcement agency with personal identifying information such as your name, aliases, home address, school address, the crime of which you were convicted, email addresses, online screen names, and your photograph. SORA also requires verification. This means that you must verify your address and other information on a regular basis. Under SORA you will have to register for a minimum of 20 years.
Being charged with a cyber sex crime or any sex crime could have a significant, negative impact on your life and the lives of your family members. You could end up in jail for multiple years, and you could end up having to register as a sex offender. For this reason, if you are facing a cyber sex crime charge you should immediately consult an experienced New York Cyber Sex Crimes Lawyer who has the knowledge to help you fight the charges. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York criminal courts charged with cyber sex crimes, as well as other types of sex crimes such as rape, sexual assault, sex with a minor, public lewdness, and indecent exposure. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations: