Category Archive: Sexual Abuse

FEMALE TEACHERS HAVING SEX WITH STUDENTS

Female teachers having sex with their students. Learn to protect your children.

CBSNews.com reported on the alleged improper actions of 45 female teachers arrested and charged with having a sexual relationship with their high school and, in a few cases, middle school students. The pictures of the teachers and their alleged actions were gleaned from news releases. Following is a partial list of the 45 notorious female teacher sex scandals:

An Oxnard, CA, high school substitute female teacher age 24 was accused of using text messages to exchange inappropriate photos with a 17-year old male student.
A 28-year- old former math teacher in Austin, TX, was arrested for allegedly having an improper relationship with two of her students. One of the students alleged a several month relationship that included sex.

A 35-year-old former Utah high school English teacher faced four separate trials over allegations she had sex with male students. One student claimed he considered her his girlfriend over their year-long sexual relationship.

Two Louisiana female teachers ages 24 and 32 reportedly had group sex with a 16-year-old male student. One of the teachers had reportedly had sex with the student previously.
A 32-year-old female teacher from Connecticut was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Her 18-year-old victim told police when he tried to break off the relationship she assaulted him and threatened to fail him.

A 28-year-old female high school English teacher, wife and mother of three was convicted on 16 counts of having improper relationships with students in August 2012. She allegedly had sex over a two-month period with students at her home.

A 36-year-old South Carolina teacher was sentenced in 2014 for having sex with a 14-year-old former middle school student.

In 2011 a 24-year-old high school teacher in Iowa was sentenced for engaging in sexual misconduct with students ages 16-18. She allegedly also sent nude photographs of herself.

A 28-year-old Minnesota high school teacher and coach was convicted of having sex with a former student and football player in 2008. She had been working in the weight room as a supervisor at the high school. She was 25 at the time and the student was 16.

A 35-year-old English teacher in Indiana was arrested in 2011 after allegedly having an affair with a 17-year-old student. Police reported she admitted to having sex with the student several times at her house. The two had been exchanging messages via text and social media.

A 29-year-old high school teacher in Louisiana was accused in 2012 with having sex with a 17-year-old student. The student showed police numerous text messages some of them of graphic sexual nature allegedly from the teacher.

A 29-year-old West Houston middle school teacher was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy at his home in 2012 while his parents were away. The police learned she also had sex with him at a hotel the night of a school dance and in her classroom.

In Colorado a 29-year-old former high school teacher and wife of the school principal was accused of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old student while chaperoning a school camping trip.

A 23-year-old Florida middle school teacher was accused of having sex numerous times with a 14-year-old student, including once in a car while his 15-year-old cousin drove. She is described as being bright and beautiful. She was a newlywed.

A 33-year-old former Burbank middle school teacher was sentenced for carrying on a nine-month affair with a 14-year old former student.

A 24-year-old eighth grade English teacher at a Houston middle school told police about her relationship with her 14-year-old student. It started with messages on Instagram and evolved into a great love. They had sex on almost a daily basis. She ended up pregnant. She later aborted the baby. On her cell phone police found many messages between the boy and his teacher.

A 24-year-old Iowa substitute teacher said it’s the school’s fault that she had sex with a 17-year-old student. She claimed the school allowed the relationship to blossom between the pair.

A 49-year-old substitute teacher in Pennsylvania who served as the head of her church council was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student in a parked car at a cemetery. She had first taught the boy when he was in middle school. He was now a junior in high school.

What can you as a parent learn from this? I suggest the following:

1. No matter whether you are a man or woman if you socialize with a minor you can become sexually attracted to them;

2. Parents must on a regular basis monitor and review their children’s phones, their text messages and their social media. If they do furnish a smart phone to their teenager, it is essential they install parental controls to prevent the viewing or exchanging of pornography. Their teenagers should be banned from downloading and using apps like Snapchat or other similar apps which permit minors to send pornography to other students and/or access pornography;

3. Permitting teenagers, both boys and girls, to view pornography or to sext will most likely result in unlawful sexual behavior with potentially devastating lifelong consequences.

ARE YOU ENABLING YOUR SON/DAUGHTER TO BECOME A SEX OFFENDER?

Are you enabling your child to be a sex offender? Learn to protect your children.

Having been a defense attorney for 42 years, I have represented many adults and juveniles accused of sexual offenses. Anyone, either a minor or an adult, charged with committing sex offenses against minors can suffer lifelong negative consequences.

In most cases the juvenile has been exposed to pornography. They have viewed it on a smart phone, a computer, a TV, or a friend has given them a disk. No matter how good a son or daughter you have, the first time they have seen pornography the idea is planted in their minds to experience some form of sexual behavior. A small minority of kids have been the victims of sexual misconduct and they experienced their first sexual encounter as victims.

The idea to commit sexual misconduct does not just come out of the blue. They will want to experiment. Many fine young boys from good families will experiment with younger minors they have access to. They think they can get away with their improper touching without others knowing about it. The victims are usually someone they know and have access to. It is not just boys who do this. Girls do it as well.

How do parents enable their sons/daughters to become sex offenders?

1. They provide them access to pornography. You would be aghast if you read that a parent was permitting their child or teenager to visit an adult bookstore. You do just that when you provide them with a smart phone. I can guarantee that your teenager will soon figure out how to bypass any parental controls you might place on it. Do they have the Snapchat app on their phone? Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app for smart phones. Google the name and you will find articles detailing how teenagers regularly use this app to send naked photos to others. Snapchat is well aware this is going on. Snapchat is not the only app teenagers use to transmit pornography. But doesn’t Snapchat delete the photo after ten seconds? A screen shot of the sext photo can be taken, saved and distributed over the internet.

Most TV owners who have access to premium channels will have access to pornography. You can see adults at times on these channels having simulated sex before a lot of teenagers go to bed. You might believe that your teenager does not see it but if you and the adults in the home view it, it is just a matter of time before your teenagers view it as well.

What about computers and viewing pornography on your computers? Does your teenager have access to a computer that has internet access? If the computer has internet access, the chances are great your teenager can figure out how to get around any parental controls and view pornography. I know of parents who have put parental controls on their computers but not on their smart phones.

2. Most adults who work for business or government entities must take yearly sexual harassment training. It is stressed that if you engage in sexual harassment, dire consequences will occur. Your child does not take yearly sexual harassment training.

When did you last have a conversation with your children or teenagers about not viewing pornography and not engaging in risky sexual behaviors. I have represented 10-year-olds charged with sexual abuse of younger minors. The victims in a number of these cases were 2 years and older. When was the last time you spoke with your 4-5-year-old about good touch/bad touch and to tell Mommy or Daddy if anyone ever gives you a bad touch? Do you do so yearly?
Do you want your child/teenager to be arrested/charged with sexual offenses towards children? What about their being labeled a sex offender and possibly being having to register as a sex offender? Do you want them being suspended or expelled from school for sexual misconduct?

3. Be observant. Boys and girls playing in their bedrooms out of the sight of adults can quickly start engaging in risky sexual behavior. Very often the young girl will go along with what the older boy is doing sexually and not tell a parent. Eventually they will disclose. Sexual misconduct occurs frequently between siblings, step-siblings, cousins, and neighbors.

The child or teenage offender can suffer lifelong consequences resulting from being charged with engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct with minors. Do not let this happen to your child or teenager. Please review prior blogs I have written on this subject. Teen Sexing; Sex Between Minors; Minors Can and Do Commit Sexual Abuse; The Most Dangerous Gift A Cell Phone;  What if Your Child Has Been Accused of Sexual Misbehavior with a Minor Under 14 or If Your Child is a Victim of Sexual Misbehavior; Causes of Juvenile Suspensions Expulsions, and Criminal Charges; Ways to Protect Your Minors from Being Sexually Abused, and Increased Punishment of Sex Offenses by Juveniles.

AGE OF CONSENT TO SEXUAL ACTS IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

The Age of consent to sexual acts in England and Scotland.

We have had inquiries as to what the laws are on sex between minors in other countries. Review our blogs regarding the laws in California and Germany and compare them with those in England and Scotland.

In England and Wales, the age of consent to any form of sexual activity for girls and boys is 16 years of age. This law has been on the statute books since 1885 when the age of consent was raised from 13 to 16. Thus, any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16 is a felony.

Under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, it is an offense for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13. The offense is punishable as a Class 2 felony. It is triable only on indictment. It is an offense of strict liability as to age. The offense does not require an absence of consent, but if the girl does not consent, either this offense or rape may be charged.

The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 became law in January 2001 throughout the UK and in so doing, equalized, regardless of gender, the age of consent at 16 for both heterosexual and homosexual acts (including for the first time lesbian acts), except those taking place between a 16-17-year-old and someone in a position of trust, (e.g. a teacher), where the age of consent was raised to 18.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides specific legal protection for children age 12 and under who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity. Consent is clearly not a defense to this offense. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment for rape, assault by penetration, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

In Scotland, the age of consent was changed in 2010 to 16 regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Before that date, it was 16 years for girls, a statutory offense, and 14 for boys, which is the common law age of puberty. In Scotland, it appears to be possible for consent to be available as a defense in a case where the girl is between the age of 13-16. In such case of consensual sex, the charge drops from rape to a lesser offense of having intercourse with an older child.

In the UK, there have been several attempts to lower the age of consent to 15, the last as recently as 2013. One of the reasons attributed to Prof. John Ashton, Faculty of Public Health president, was that society had to accept that about a third of all boys and girls were having sex at 14 or 15 and that lowering the age would make it easier for 15-year-olds to get sexual health advice from the National Health Service. Nevertheless, the request was firmly rejected by Downing Street, (Prime Minister’s Office), on the basis that the current age of 16 was in place to protect children and there were “no plans to change it.”

This blog was written by Denise Oxley, Esq. Ms. Oxley is a Barrister (OS) in the United Kingdom and a licensed attorney in San Diego, CA. She can be reached at denise@deniseoxleylaw.net We thank Ms. Oxley very much for her research and time in setting forth the laws in England and Scotland regarding sex with minors.

Please review our prior blogs on SEX BETWEEN MINORS IN CALIFORNIA AND SEX BETWEEN MINOR IN GERMANY.

PREVENT YOUR CHILD FROM BEING LABELED A SEX OFFENDER

Prevent your child from being labeled a sex offender. JuvenileLawCenter.com

Please talk to your children, both boys and girls, about good and bad sexual touching. This needs to be done at an early age and repeated several times as they age. Social media and TV has brought to every smart phone, computer with internet access, and gaming devices ways to distribute sexual photographs, videos and other sexually suggestive material.

No matter how good you think your son or daughter is they will have sexual curiosity/urges at a very young age. I am talking under the age of nine. They hear other kids and adults talk about sex. They see photographs and view videos that have been passed around. They will want to experiment. This usually involves experimentation with a younger person they have access to. That person could be very young. They will select a person they do not think will tell on them. You may think your stellar child who has never been in trouble with the law would never do such a thing. But it happens on a more frequent basis.

In California, when a minor sexually touches a person under the age of fourteen or has the younger minor sexually touch them, they commit the offense of lewd and lascivious touching of a minor under the age of fourteen. It is a felony offense. It can carry up to eight years in custody and potential sex registration for life as a sex offender if the minor is committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Other states may require mandatory sex offender registration.Know the laws regarding minors committing sex offenses.

PLEASE TAKE THIS ADVISAL SERIOUSLY. You do not want your child charged with committing a sex offense. It is not just boys that get charged with these offenses. Girls do as well although their touching is probably under reported. In many of the cases, the younger child does not object to the touching. They go along with it. This does not legally excuse what is taking place.

Review our prior blogs on this subject – Minors Can and Do Commit Child Sex Abuse, Sex Between Minors, Teen Sexting, Enticing Someone Under the Age of 18 to Engage in Sexual Offenses, Increased Punishment for Sex Offenses by Juveniles, and Ways to Protect Your Minor from Being Sexually Abused.

 

INCREASED PUNISHMENT FOR SEX OFFENSES BY JUVENILES

Andries law in California increases the punishment for sexual offenses committed by juveniles.

Audries Law, effective January 2015 in California, increases punishment for juveniles who sexually assault an unconscious victim do to their intoxication. A 15-year-old high school student was sexually assaulted at a house party. She was unconscious at the time. The perpetrators, 15- and 16-year-old boys, took photos of the assault with their cell phones and shared them with their classmates. The girl found out about this and killed herself.

The law expands the list of offenses for which the public and press may attend juvenile proceedings. Those now include sexual offenses against another where that person is prevented from resisting due to being rendered unconscious by any intoxicating, anesthetizing, or controlled substance, or when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a disability, of giving consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the offense.

A minor charged with such a felony offense is precluded from eligibility to petition the court for Deferred Entry of Judgment. The Legislature has elevated the seriousness of the charges for such an offense as equivalent to a list of the most serious offenses for which a minor can be excluded for consideration by the court for Deferred Entry of Judgment. The Juvenile Court in determining how the offender(s) should be punished can consider the seriousness and circumstances of the offense, the vulnerability of the victim, the minor’s criminal history and prior attempts at rehabilitation, the sophistication of the minor, the threat to public safety, the minor’s likelihood of re-offending, and any other relevant information presented. The court may order sex offender treatment, commit the minor to Juvenile Hall, a ranch, a camp, or a forestry camp. It may order the minor be sent to a long-term residential facility for treatment and supervision.

What does “unconscious at the time” mean? Does the victim have to be literally unconscious? In ruling on cases where an adult has been convicted of rape by intoxication, the courts have not required the victim to be literally unconscious. It is not enough that the victim was intoxicated to some degree or that the intoxication reduced the victim’s sexual inhibitions. The mental impairment must have been so great that the victim could no longer exercise reasonable judgement concerning the issue.

Most parents and their minors do not know that any lewd or lascivious acts, sex acts with minors under the age of 14, even consensual, are felony offenses and can lead to very serious consequences for their minors. It is illegal for any minor, under the age of 18, to engage in intercourse and other specified types of sex acts, even if consented to by both minors. The victim does not have to be intoxicated or have a disability. If the court finds the victim comes within the meaning of Audries Law, the offending minor(s) will face enhanced consequences for their offense. Please review our blog on Sex Between Minors.

A DAUGHTER IS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED: THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS PART 4

 

JLC Part 4 Molested

This is part 4 in one the story of one family’s sexual molestation nightmare story. If you haven’t already done so please read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

The investigator was able to get a name for the man who had sexually assaulted other girls in the same Navy housing complex. The neighbors told the investigator this man was prosecuted. When the investigator searched the court records in the same county where these sexual assaults took place, he was unable to come up with a court reference for this man. Through his continued investigation and cross-referencing names, he was able to locate a filing for a man with a same similar sounding name but not the same spelling. This man’s name and the details of the offenses against other young girls in the same Navy housing complex he was convicted of committing had been withheld from the defense. The defense team believed there was a high probability this man was the man responsible for the abduction of the family’s daughter and her sexual assault.

The police reported their crime lab analyzed the clothes, bodily fluids, and other physical evidence taken from the daughter and the crime scene. They did not find any evidence of semen or any other evidence to forensically identify the attacker of the daughter. The defense hired a respected criminalist, a person with extensive experience analyzing bodily fluids and crime evidence, to consult and assist on the defense team. The prosecutor on the case had the local police crime lab re-examine the evidence they had previously examined in 1989. Upon their re-examination with equipment purchased since their initial exam, they found a semen stain on the front of the nightgown worn by the victim and on her underwear. Their testing of the stain by the police department revealed no usable sperm heads. The defense sought their own examination of the evidence collected by the police department with a nationally respected forensic criminalist with experience in DNA testing. It was agreed by the prosecution and defense team to submit the semen stain to a nationally recognized testing lab to do DNA analysis. DNA was collected from the father and the man who had sexually assaulted other girls in the same Navy housing complex. This is the same man who abducted another girl from the window of another Navy housing complex and sexually assaulted her in a phone booth.

While the criminal trial was on hold pending results from the testing, Child Protective Services and their attorney were pushing ahead to terminate the parental rights of the parents and free their daughter for adoption in the Juvenile Court. The first DNA results were received on September 17, 1991. Sperm was found on the semen stain. The second step of the DNA testing was to determine if the sperm was from the father. On October 9, 1991, the results showed the father was not the donor of the sperm on his daughter’s nightgown or underwear.

The defense team immediately filed pleadings to halt and stay the proceedings to terminate the parents’ parental rights pending further DNA testing to determine if the man who had sexually assaulted other girls in the parents’ Navy housing complex was responsible for the attacks. This met with stiff opposition from the Child Protection Services and their attorney. The Court would not stay the proceedings to free the daughter for adoption. On November 14, 1991, two years and six months after the brutal sexual assault of their daughter, DNA testing identified the man who was prosecuted for sexually assaulting other young girls in the same Navy housing complex and who took another young girl out of a window from her home to sexually assault her.

By this time, the local newspaper had been contacted about the case by the Senator from the parents’ home state. The case started to be reported in the local newspaper. The County Grand Jury added the case to their investigation into the other cases where innocent people were wrongly accused of sexual assaults. The weight of the public scrutiny caused Child Protective Services to change their position and not object to ceasing their efforts to terminate the parental rights of the girl’s parents. A psychologist was selected to work with the girl in therapy to reunite her with her parents. She was successfully reunited with her parents. The criminal charges were dismissed with a Finding of Factual Innocence of the father. The fact of the arrest and charges were erased from his record. The Attorney General filed an administrative action against the therapist’s license who was responsible for the alleged brainwashing. Subsequent civil suits were filed with successful resolutions against some of the parties for their negligent conduct. Others equally responsible escaped suit because of immunities granted by the State Legislature.

The family can never recover from their nightmare. This terrible ordeal took its toll on their entire family–not just the daughter and her parents but her sibling and extended family as well.

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A DAUGHTER IS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED: THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS Part 2.

Part 2 in a series recounting a family's nightmare when their daughter was sexually molested.

The young girl was admitted to the hospital on May 9, 1989. A hold was placed on her by Child Protective Services. When first questioned by a male detective and a male CPS worker when she first arrived at the hospital, the girl related she did not remember anything unusual happening the night before between going to bed and waking up. She was asked if her father or anyone else had sexually touched her and she denied he or anyone else had. She was described as being bright, cheerful, friendly and unafraid. When asked by the examining physician what happened, she said that something had happened but she could not remember what. When told she may not be able to go home, she related in detail about the man coming in her brother’s bedroom window, taking her out of the window to a car, sexually assaulting her and then returning her to her bed. She further disclosed how she had woke up and went into her younger brother’s room to sleep. Her brother was in his bed when she got in.

The police went to the family home. They took fingerprints from the window the girl claimed the man had entered and carried her out. A footprint was taken from underneath the window. Upon further examination, the police forensic examiner determined the shoe print was only a partial print and the fingerprint appeared smeared. The partial fingerprint could have been that of a child. The clothing the girl was wearing was taken into evidence by the police for further forensic examination. The police requested the father take a polygraph examination. He willing did so on May 10, 1989. The police polygraph examiner determined the results of the test were inconclusive.

The young girl was detained in a foster home. The authorities and child abuse experts at the local child abuse center suspected the girl was molested by her father and was protecting him. The mother was permitted supervised visitation with her daughter. The father was not permitted any visitation. The girl was put into therapy with a licensed therapist selected by Child Protective Services. The sessions started in May 1989. The therapy sessions were often twice a week. The girl reportedly told the therapist she was sad at not being able to see her dad. She liked the visits with her mother and brother. She was sad not being home. She told the therapist how the perpetrator had told her to be quiet or he would kill her. She cried but no one heard her. The man did not tell her to keep it a secret and just to be quiet. The girl related how she repeatedly told the therapist it was not her father who hurt her but a man who came in her brother’s window. He put his hand in the window and stroked her cheek. He then took her out of the window. The therapist, believing the young girl was protecting her father, used therapeutic techniques to promote disclosure when molest in the home is suspected. Children are told it is hard to talk about the assault if it was someone you love did it. Stories are read to the kids such as it is “Ok to Tell Secret,” “I Told My Secret,” “No More Secrets for Me,” “Promise Not to Tell.” Stories are read about a “Baby’s Search for a Good father.” The child is told about it being okay to tell if it was your dad. He could get help and you could go home sooner.

By November 1989, the young girl was already in a third foster home. This third foster family wanted to adopt her. The foster parents reported the young girl was having nightmares after the supervised visits with her mother. Visits with her mother were cancelled. By January 1990, it was reported by the foster family the young girl had acknowledged for the first time “maybe” it was her dad who molested her but she was still confused about what happened to her. The therapy sessions continued with added emphasis to promote disclosure that her dad did molest her. In June 1990 the authorities permitted a supervised visit with her younger brother. She was still denied any visits with her mother. Shortly after the visit with her younger brother, the foster mother disclosed to the therapist the young girl told her it was her father who had molested her and he told her to make up the story about a man taking her out of the window. He told her not to tell he had done it. She did not tell because she thought she and her father would get in trouble. The young girl was re-interviewed by child abuse personnel and the police to authenticate her recent disclosure. The authorities proceeded to move to terminate the parental rights of the parents and move to permit the adoption of the young girl by her foster family.

On December 13, 1990, the father was arrested, put in jail, and charged with felony offenses for the sexual assault of his daughter.

To be continued

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THE ADULT BEARS TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR A SEX OFFENSE WITH A MINOR

adult responsibility

A judge in Montana made inappropriate comments about a 14-year-old student who was the victim of sexual intercourse without consent. A 47-year-old high school teacher had pleaded guilty to a sex offense with the 14 year old.

In Montana, a minor under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse. The judge made comments to the effect that the minor shared some of the responsibility. The Montana Supreme Court rightly censured the judge for his comments. In California, minors under the age of 18 cannot consent to sexual intercourse unless they are emancipated.

The person who bears total responsibility for the offense is the adult teacher. He absolutely knew his conduct was criminally and morally wrong. There is no excuse for his behavior.

There are important lessons for all family members to learn from these types of cases.
Men, women, and adolescents can easily become attracted to vulnerable minors if they socialize with them, spend enough time with them, and/or seek emotional and sexual comfort from them.

Keep a healthy distance from forming social relationships with minors.
Men, women, and adolescents can become attracted to minors. That attraction can lead into a sexual relationship. The more an adult socializes with the minor, the minor becomes another person to them that they can relate to, talk to, joke with, and become attracted to. The adult slowly starts treating the minor as another adult. Their psyche is not telling them this is a minor and to keep your hands off and come to your senses. The minor responds favorably to the adult/older adolescent’s attention. The minor wants to be kind, nice, and responsive to the adult. The minor likes the attention thinking they are something special. Remember at all times when dealing with a minor/younger adolescent that a judge, police officer, or a prosecutor is standing behind you watching what you are doing.

Teachers, coaches, youth ministers, clergy, Boy Scout/Girl Scout leaders, and tutors must be aware the more time they spend alone with a minor the greater the chance the relationship could expand into something sexual and very wrong. An adult can quickly lose sight of the fact they are dealing with a minor.

We read about men and women being prosecuted for sexual conduct with minors. In a number of cases it is a coach, youth minister, Boy Scout/Girl Scout leader, tutor, teacher, babysitter, big brother/big-sister or clergy. Headlines such as the following have appeared in local media: “Oxnard high school teacher accused of ‘sexting’ student”; “Butte County Deputy Arrested for ‘Sexting’ Minor”; “Teacher Accused of Exchanging ‘Sext’ Messages, Graphic Images with a 13-Year-Old Student”; “Long Beach Cop Allegedly Sexting with Minor He Met on the Job”; “Sexting by assistant football coach draws lawsuit”; “Santa Maria teacher accused of sexting student”; “Hummer Mom Makes First Court Appearance”–this 42-year-old mother was accused of having sex with boys who were barely teenagers when it started; “Parents ‘Shocked’ About Sexting Allegations”–a female high school soccer and lacrosse coach in Poway, CA, was accused of sending harmful matter to a minor and communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sexual act.

Suggestions to avoid finding yourself being criminally prosecuted, losing your job, your profession, your marriage, and your good character:

1. Do not socialize with minors. If you are a teacher, coach, mentor, big-brother/sister, music teacher, therapist, youth minister, tutor and you use email to communicate with the youth you are teaching/coaching/mentoring do it in a general email to all the students. Do not start private email conversations with any student, team member, boy/girl scout, youth group participant, or other groups you may be an adult for. Always remember when around youth, communicating with them, there is standing behind you the judge, prosecutor and police officer.

2. Do not invite a student/minor to your house. Don’t socialize with your students. Some teachers invite their students to their homes as a reward for being a good student. You are not the student’s buddy–you are their teacher. If you want to have a party for your students, make sure their parents are invited. Do not have it at your house. Make sure there are other teachers or adults present. Never be alone with a student or team member where there is not another adult with full view of you and the minor.

3. Do not give a student or team member rides in your car unless they sit in the backseat with another student. Do not let them sit beside you. You don’t want some allegation being made you touched them in some inappropriate way while driving. Under no circumstances allow a student to sleep in your hotel/motel room. Once again, you are vulnerable to one of them asserting you touched them inappropriately in the night when you thought they were sleeping.

4. Do not horse-play or wrestle with a student or team member. All it takes is an allegation you put your hand on their private area, near their private area, or touched their chests and the next thing is you are being investigated for child abuse charges.

5. If you are around minors on a regular basis as a teacher, coach, mentor, youth minister, tutor, or Boy/Girl Scout leaders insist your school, recreational league, or church put on yearly seminars to educate and assist you in protecting yourselves from being accused of inappropriate behavior with minors.

 

 

 

ENTICING SOMEONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY CAN RESULT IN A MANDATORY TEN-YEAR SENTENCE

lost

The Ninth Circuit Federal Appeals court just upheld the mandatory minimum sentence of a 45-year-old man for the attempted enticement of a minor to engage in “any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.” He was convicted of one court of 18 U.S.C. section 2422(b). Congress enacted the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to specifically prohibit the enticement “using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdictions of the United States knowing persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.” Since the enactment of the Act, the United States Congress has increased the penalties for this offense three times. The last time was in July 27, 2006, to “life in prison and increasing the mandatory minimum to ten years.”

This man’s offense took place in Oregon. Under Oregon state law his conduct would be a misdemeanor offense. How can he also be charged under federal law? If one commits a state offense which also could be a federal offense, one could be prosecuted in either jurisdiction (Federal or State) or both. More and more possession of child pornography charges are being prosecuted in the Federal courts because the judges in the Federal courts, following Federal Sentencing Guidelines, are imposing lengthy prison sentences for these offenses. It is not that the State courts don’t take these offenses seriously, but most of these type offenders are first time offenders with jobs and families, and are very likely to do very well on probation and not repeat the same offense again. Offender specific therapy is very successful and, for the safety of the community, they don’t need to be placed in prison for years at taxpayer expense. Congress wants to impose lengthy prison sentences, despite the background of the defendant, for these type offenses.

What did this man do? He approached a 16-year-old girl he had seen at his kid’s school in a store. He told her he thought she “looked nice.” He sent her a “friend” request on Facebook. The girl wisely told her father. Her father reported this to the local police. The FBI got involved and had one of their agents pose as the girl on Facebook. An instant message account was established on a Yahoo! email account. The defendant sent messages enticing the girl to have sex with him. Eventually a meeting was set up where the defendant arranged to meet the girl at a train station. The defendant went to the train station to meet her and was arrested. The girl did not go to the train station. When arrested he had alcohol and condoms on his person. He was charged with one count of online enticement of a female minor. The defendant had been reported before to the local police for sending sexually explicit messages to another 16-year-old girl and to an 18- year-old girl, but he was not prosecuted for those incidents.

The defendant can be any age. He or she could be a juvenile or over the age of 18. How many juveniles are using the internet, instant messaging, texting, using Facebook and other social media sites to entice and solicit sexual activity? People say things by text, on Facebook, in email and on social media sites they would never say in person. If your minor under the age of 18 was Federally charged for this offense, they would be tried under the Federal Juvenile rules and laws. They probably would not be facing a ten-year mandatory prison sentence but could face severe custodial and other sanctions. If they are 18 or over, they are facing the same penalties as this defendant.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

1. Talk to your minors. Talk to your spouse or significant other and discuss cases like this. The defendant in the above case has a family. He is now facing a minimum sentence of ten years in a Federal penitentiary.

2. Supervise your minors texting, their Facebook page, Instant Messaging and other social media sites. Put parental controls in place to block sexual material. Please review our prior blogs on these subjects.

3. Do not permit your minors to restrict you from having access to the above. If they will not permit you to regularly review and supervise what they are texting, sending and posting, don’t allow it or pay for it.

 

WHAT IF YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISBEHAVIOR WITH A MINOR UNDER 14 OR IF YOUR CHILD IS THE VICTIM OF SEXUAL MISBEHAVIOR

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Most parents will want to immediately rush their minor to a therapist for counseling.

Yes, your minor definitely needs professional counseling–but wrong first move. The therapist must make a referral to the local Child Welfare Services of any reported child abuse. The police are also automatically informed of the report.

We recommend you immediately consult with an experienced juvenile or criminal attorney in your area who has experience with these kinds of cases. Why? The attorney does not have to report the allegation to Child Welfare Services or to the police. There are approved, experienced therapists in your local area that the juvenile probation services and the juvenile courts use for therapy in these kinds of cases. You want your minor seen by one of these experienced therapists. The attorney can consult and refer the family for therapy, psychological evaluations, and other services that will give the minor the best chance to present well to the authorities when the matter is referred to Child Welfare Services. You want, if possible, to avoid your child being arrested and placed in juvenile custody. If they are engaged in approved therapy programs, placed away from having contact with their victim/s, and doing well in school and the community, the courts are more likely to permit them to remain out of custody while their court proceedings take place. Child Welfare Services will generally not remove the minor from the home if there are no younger minors at risk of molest.

We do not recommend you avoid getting therapy for your minor who has abused someone or your minor who may have been a victim. It is our experience this can backfire later in life when the consequences for both the abuser and the victim can be far worse than if handled properly at the beginning of the case. For example, your son was 15 years old when he molested a younger child. It was not reported to Child Welfare Services or to the police until the victim, who is now 18 years old and in therapy, discloses it to their therapist. Your son who is now over 18 will be prosecuted as an adult. The sentence as an adult will be far worse than that as a juvenile. They will be facing lifelong sex registration requirements. If handled as a juvenile, they most probably would avoid a sex registration requirement. If your minor was a victim and if therapy is delayed, they will have many issues in early adulthood that can lead to lifelong problems.