In the past few years, several Oklahoma residents have been arrested for soliciting minors online. The Canadian County Sheriff’s Department has established a task force dedicated to ferreting out predators who solicit underage people online for sexual encounters. Using undercover deputies as decoys, the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department creates profiles on numerous social media networks aimed at catching predators in sting operations.
24-Year-Old Busted for Soliciting Sex from a Minor in 2018
In August of 2018, a 24-year-old Canadian County resident was busted for soliciting sex from an undercover decoy who identified as a 14-year-old female. Conversations between the 24-year-old and the decoy on Facebook involved explicit and graphic descriptions of sexual acts as well as plans to meet up at a Kohl’s department store in Yukon. The 24-year-old brought condoms to the meet-up to avoid an unwanted pregnancy with who he thought was a minor. He was arrested in the department store’s parking lot by sheriff’s deputies.
38-Year-Old Arrested in OKC McDonald’s in 2013
Another man, 38, was arrested for soliciting sex from a minor in 2013. Undercover deputies posed as a 15-year-old girl looking to buy an automobile. The 38-year-old promised a car in exchange for sex from who he thought was a minor. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him as he ate a burger and waited for the supposed 15-year-old in an Oklahoma City McDonald’s.
Citizens in Canadian County Performing Predator Sting Operations
A group of private citizens in Canadian County have performed their own sting operations to lure predators. Posing as underaged girls, two men unaffiliated with law enforcement are now entangled in a lawsuit for defamation. These citizens entice alleged predators into public spaces, posing as 13, 14, and 15-year-old girls, and film the encounters. These encounters are then uploaded to a public Facebook page. The lawsuit, filed in April of 2019, could have lasting ramifications for locals who take matters into their own hands without law enforcement supervision.
Predator Stings are Difficult to Defend in Court
The nature of sexual predator stings that begin online are difficult for area attorneys to defend. Conversations, even if conducted in private messages, can be saved and screenshotted. These conversations, where adults are communicating with minors lewdly, and soliciting intimate encounters appear virtually indefensible.
Minors cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult, even if they initiate the conversation or claim to have had sexual partners in their past.
Consequences for Sexual Crimes Against Children in Oklahoma
Knowingly communicating with an individual who identifies as underage could lead to serious criminal charges, mandated sexual offender program participation, and lifelong damage to your reputation and career. Not only is it criminal to solicit sex from underaged people, there is a good chance that the person on the other end of that conversation is a law enforcement officer.
Following are potential consequences for those who commit sexual crimes against minors in Oklahoma:
- Those convicted must register as sex offenders
- Prison Sentences
- Court fees
Criminal Defense for Sex Offenders
Those who are facing charges for crimes of a sexual nature as well as those who have been convicted of sexual offenses can benefit from retaining a criminal defense attorney. A defense attorney can assist you with seeking professional counseling and the completion of all court-mandated punishments. The laws for sexual offenders in Oklahoma can be complex and failure to comply with programs like sex offender registries can land you in prison.
Consulting with a lawyer is the best method for ensuring that you receive fair and just treatment under the law. If you have been arrested or convicted of a sexual offense, call our office to schedule a consultation with our experienced sex crimes defense attorney.