Child Enticement

Although we used to think of child enticement as the act of luring a child into a vehicle or secluded area, the digital age has evolved the landscape of child enticement law and other laws related to the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors. It’s important to note that luring a child into a car or secluded place is still considered child enticement in Mississippi and most states, but there are many other different forms of child enticement in the digital age.

What is Child Enticement?

At its root, child enticement is the act of taking or luring a child away from his or her parents, possibly with the intent to commit sexual acts. In Mississippi, child enticement laws apply to children, who are taken or lured with either the intent to take them away from their parents or guardians, or for the purpose of marriage, prostitution or concubinage.

Different Forms of Child Enticement
  • Luring a child into a vehicle with the intent of committing a sexual act
  • Luring a child into a secluded place with the intent of committing a sexual act
  • Online sexual activity with a child
  • Underage marriage
  • Soliciting a child for prostitution
  • Luring a child on the internet to take part in sexual acts or pornography
  • Luring a child into employment without the parents’ permission
What About Child Pornography?

Child pornography is one of the more popular forms of child enticement. Luring a child, causing a child or allowing a child under the age of 18 to engage in any type of sexual act in order to record or take photos is illegal. Another form of child enticement would also include luring, asking, persuading or allowing a child under the age of 18 to produce or document via photograph or video recording any kind of sexual activity. Finally, persuading, luring or asking a child to meet in person to engage in some type of sexual act is also a form of child enticement. No matter what the case, if you’re facing child enticement charges in and around the Jackson metro area, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Electronic Enticement (Online Child Enticement)

Electronic enticement, or online enticement, is what we see the most of in the new digital age. This happens when somebody uses the internet to lure, invite or persuade a child to engage in some type of sexual act. This could also include luring a child online for the purpose of child pornography. The ever changing and evolving digital landscape also means law enforcement officers are stepping up their efforts to arrest people. If you’re facing any kind of electronic enticement charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as swiftly as possible after your arrest.

Defenses to Electronic Child Enticement in Mississippi
  • Did you try to determine the child’s true age but you were prevented from doing so by the child?
  • Did you take reasonable steps to prevent children from accessing this type of communication? (Could include requirement of credit card use or some other payment verification)
  • Could your communication with the child have been blocked by parental control software?
What About Enticement for Employment?

Child enticement doesn’t always involve sexual charges. In Mississippi, it’s also a crime to lure or coax a child, under the age of 18, from his or her parents for the purpose of employing that child, without the parents’ permission. Although this isn’t a crime we see too often these days, it was originally enacted when children were subjected to dangerous and abusive labor conditions when child labor was at its height in the late 1800s.

Potential Penalties Involved in Child Enticement Cases

Depending upon the circumstances and details of your particular case, you could be facing up to 40 years in prison or more. Additionally, hefty fines are also associated with child enticement convictions. Finally and arguably most damaging, you could be facing being labeled a sex offender for life. This status would require you to register, no matter where you go. You can’t go to a new town to start over, because you carry the label with you, no matter where you go.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer needs to be your number-one priority after an arrest. Don’t count on an overburdened public defender to have the time and resources to dedicate to your freedom. Your life and reputation are on the line, and you need somebody you can trust to have your back during this difficult time.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with child enticement, contact the skilled defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.

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