When two people meet online and pursue a relationship, it is often the natural course of action that they will meet in person, and possibly have a sexual relationship. If one of the people is under the legal age to give consent in Wisconsin, it may not matter what the intention of the adult was, and he or she may be charged with statutory rape. The situation becomes even more complicated if the two people cross state lines during the period of time they are involved in order to have a physical relationship, and federal charges may be filed at this point.
A 28 year old man from Texas was recently convicted on federal charges after his online relationship with a 16 year old Wisconsin girl progressed to the point that he brought her to his home state, where they had a physical relationship. The girl’s mother gave permission for her to go, and the young man claims he had intentions to eventually marry the girl, and that he loved her.
His defense attorney claims that he was convicted because his intentions in the situation did not matter, and that the girl approached his client first for a relationship. Prosecutors feel he was guilty because he may have convinced the girl to have sex with him.
If a person is not fully briefed on the laws regarding their involvement with a minor, they may not feel they are doing anything wrong by expressing their love in a physical way. Any person who is facing charges for solicitation of a minor may benefit from consulting an attorney to determine the best defense in the situation.
Source: OA Online, “Stanton man convicted in federal child sex case,” Jon Vanderlaan, May 8, 2013