MINORS CAN AND DO COMMIT SEXUAL ABUSE
If your minor under the age of 18 willfully and lewdly touches the body of a child under the age of 14 and the touching was done with the intent to arouse, appeal, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of your child or the other child, they are guilty of a felony offense.
Minors today have access to viewing graphic sexual conduct on the television, the internet, and in videos. They no longer have to get a “smut” magazine and secretly view it. From our experiences boys and girls entering the seventh grade become very interested in sex. This is understandable at their ages. They will chat, post, share pictures, talk about sexual contact, and experiment in sexual acts. We all know it is much easier to say and share things in text messages, emails, and on social media sites that one would not do in person. Two of our prior blogs discuss the dangers of modern technology and why parents must actively supervise their minors’ smart cell phones and other technological devices that have internet coverage.
One of our prior blogs describes what is legal and not legal for minors to engage in. We are frequently called in to consult and represent minors when a 10 year old or older is accused of lewdly touching a child a year or more younger than themselves. This can be an older brother or sister sexually touching a younger sibling or step-sibling. It frequently involves younger children of friends or relatives. The minor might be a babysitter or just someone who wants to experiment with a sexual act. This will be done when they have access to a younger minor and are out of sight of the parents.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO HELP MINORS AVOID
SEXUAL MISBEHAVIOR WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN
Talk to your children about good and bad touching. Keep reminding them as they get older about good and bad touching. Impress upon both sexes the importance of reporting any improper touching by adults or other kids.
If you are uncomfortable having this talk, enlist the help of an uncle or aunt or other relative that can have this frank talk. It needs to be repeated until the adults are very comfortable the message has been received.
If you are starting to get more concerned and worried about your minor and their sexual interests, enlist the help of an experienced attorney in juvenile and criminal law in your area who can clearly outline for your minor all the terrible things that can happen if they engage in lewd behavior with minors under the age of 14 as a juvenile and certainly as an adult. Sexual offenses are considered extremely serious and can have a life-long impact on ones life.