Internet Sex Crimes
It wasn’t long after the invention of the internet that sex-related topics—and sex-related crimes—first made their digital debut. Many cybercriminals operate with a perceived sense of anonymity and utilize the diversity of online resources to perform, facilitate, or otherwise promote the commission of sex crimes.
A 2017 report of the Iowa Sex Offender Research Council (SORC) declared internet sex crimes an “emerging category.” The report also comes to the conclusion that internet sex crimes represent at least a slightly different typology than most other kinds of sex crimes because of the ease of access.
Most internet sex crimes are linked to the creation, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography. Depending on the facts of the case, you could even be federally charged. No matter if its state or federal charged, a conviction of any internet sex crimes can lead to defendants having their reputation tarnished, their professional ambitions shattered, and their ability to author their future severely restrained.
The legal, social, and professional consequences of an internet sex crime conviction are gravely serious. A qualified Polk County sex crimes attorney can assist you in securing a strong defense and fighting against the charges.
Attorney for Internet Sex Crimes in Polk County, Iowa
Being accused of any sex offense is never easy, and the stigma regarding Internet Sex Crimes can be devastating to an individual’s life and livelihood. Many times, it can feel impossible to regain the normalcy that was robbed during the process of being accused.
At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., we want you to know that no matter what the circumstances are or how oppressive they feel, no cause is too far gone for us to fight. Our seasoned legal team has decades of experience defending clients in incredibly tough cases. We have the confidence, the knowledge, and most importantly, we have the skill required to provide you and your case with the kind of legal service that it needs.
Internet sex crimes represent a potentially life-altering criminal charge. Beyond potential prison time, those convicted of these crimes are required by law to register as sex offenders and face intense stigmatization as well as societal rejection. If you have been accused of an Internet Sex Crime in Polk County or any surrounding counties such as Jasper, Dallas, Marshall, Boone, Warren, or many others, contact us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Internet Sex Crimes Laws in Iowa
What Constitutes an Internet Sex Crime?
There are many different kinds of Internet Sex crimes. Since the internet can be used to connect with individuals across the world, there are many ways that connection can be used for criminal sexual purposes. Listed below are a handful of the most common Internet sex crimes:
- Enticing a Minor Online
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Child Pornography
- Manufacturing of Child Pornography
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Soliciting a minor for sex
- ‘Sexting’ with a minor, requesting or coercing a minor to give explicit videos or photographs
- Disseminating obscene materials to minors
- Misleading domain names (Federal Charge)
- Misleading words or images (Federal Charge)
These clusters of crimes make up the bulk of prosecuted Internet Sex Crimes; however, they are not the only ones. Each specific crime carries varying penalties depending on the circumstances of the case.Back to top
Penalties for Internet Sex Crimes
The guidelines are written into the Iowa State Code specify instructions for sentencing individuals convicted of sex crimes. The actual terms of sentencing, however, vary depending on the details of the criminal case. More egregious violations of the law may be more likely to receive a penalty closer to the maximum allowed, whereas violations considered to be less egregious may receive a lighter penalty.
One of the aggravating factors behind a harsher sentence would be the age of the minor involved. If under the age of 12, the laws on the book and their related penalties present a stricter, more severe punishment. While many of these crimes are illegal when involving a minor (<18 years of age), the exact age of the minor(s) involved plays a determining role in the sentencing process.
Manufacturing Child Pornography
Class C Felony
10 Years & Lifetime Parole
Distribution of Child Pornography
Class D Felony
5 Years & Fine $25,000
Possession of Child Pornography
2 Years in Jail & Fine $6250
Soliciting a Minor
Class C Felony
10 Years & Lifetime Parole
Disseminating Obscene Material
1 Year in Jail & Fine $1875
*All of these crimes carry with them a requirement or likelihood that one will have to register on the Sex Offender Registry for a minimum of 10 years. There are additional ‘special’ penalties issued for select ‘serious sexual crimes’ such as the requirement to consume Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) once released.
Thorn.org Statistics on Internet Child Sex Abuse – This website provides a great deal of information about internet sex abuse of children, child pornography, and strategies to combat the growing frequency of internet sex crimes.
Findlaw’s Iowa Child Pornography Laws – This webpage provides detailed information about Iowa’s Child Pornography laws and their associated penalties.
Attorney for Internet Sex Crimes in West Des Moines
Being convicted of an Internet Sex Crime isn’t just about being labeled as a criminal. The social and professional stigmatization, the court-mandated limitations on everyday activities like using a computer or communicating via phone, and the often-brutal requirements demanded by the Sex Offender registry all come together to make an awful situation that much worse.
It may feel like your life is over after being accused of an Internet Sex Crime, but our dedicated legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. want you to know that there is a reason for hope. From beginning to end, our attorneys will utilize every advantage at their disposal to poke holes in the state’s arguments, dispute state evidence, and craft a sturdy defense.
If you have been accused of an Internet Sex Crime in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, or many other cities in the surrounding area, contact us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free consultation.