Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation (ARS 13-3554)
Arrested for a Sex Crime in Arizona? Call Today for Help!
In Arizona, per ARS §13-3554 “Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation” occurs when a person “lures” or offers sex with a person knowing, or having reason to know, the person is a minor.
Read this article about Punishments and Defense and watch this short video where David explains Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation:
Most often, an arrest occurs when an undercover Officer pretends to be a female who is fourteen (14) years of age or younger in an internet chat room or texting. The Officer will make contact with the Defendant and then engage in some conversation of a sexual nature. The undercover Officer will usually ask for a photograph to be E-mailed to them, and they may E-mail back a false photograph of a fourteen (14) year old girl. A meeting will normally be set up at a fast food restaurant at a specific time. When the Defendant pulls into the parking lot, undercover Officers will be waiting and they will then arrest the Defendant.
Possible Punishments for Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation
Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation is a class three (3) felony. For a first offense class three (3) felony, punishments can vary from the following:
- Probation with zero (0) days to one (1) year in jail, or prison range of two (2) to eight and three quarters (8.75) years in prison.
- If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration.
- If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.
If there was actually a minor that was lured (not an undercover police officer), and that minor is under fifteen (15) years old, it is a Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) which carries the following punishment for each and every conviction:
- Five (5) years minimum in prison, ten (10) years presumptive in prison, fifteen (15) years maximum incarceration.
- If convicted of one previous predicate felony (which includes a prior DCAC, among other serious felonies), the range of punishment increases to a minimum eight (8) years, presumptive fifteen years (15), and maximum twenty-two (22) years.
Because this is a DCAC, 100% of the prison time must be served before being eligible for release. In addition, if the person is convicted of two (2) counts, they must be run consecutive to each other (i.e., the minimum is now ten (10) years in prison, and all other ranges double). Additionally, a conviction will require you to Register as a Sex Offender for the rest of your life, and you are not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen (18) (this includes your own children), without going through numerous testing procedures and only with the consent of your Probation Officer.
Possible Defenses to Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation
Many defendants make the mistake of thinking they cannot be convicted unless the alleged “victim” is actually a real minor. However, the statute specifically states that it is not a defense to Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation (ARS 13-3554) that the “victim” is not actually a minor. In other words, you can be convicted of this crime even if the person you are talking to is an adult. As such, most defenses to Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation involve demonstrating of a lack of intent, by the defendant, to follow through with a sex act. The prosecution can only get a conviction if they prove that the defendant lured the minor for a sex act, and not for some other reason such as friendship. Potential evidence we would use to demonstrate the lack of a sexual exploitation intent is whether or not the defendant had a condom in their possession, was carrying an abnormally high quantity of cash (in case the prosecutor adds a charge of Solicitation of Child Prostitution), brings any gifts or presents, and the extent and detail to which the emails referred to the plans for sexual activity.
Additionally, we need to be prepared in case the prosecution decides to charge the defendant with additional crimes. Usually, the police will immediately secure a search warrant once an individual is placed under arrest. They will then go to their residence or business in order to confiscate the computer, and look for the “IP address” and passwords that were used on the computer. Before they do any of this they will have “cloned” the hard drive in order to avoid any accusations that they have somehow tampered with the computer and added images. The police will be looking for the communication that took place, along with any child pornography that may be on the computer. If child pornography is found, they will then add a charge of Child Pornography/ Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (which is much more serious).
The Necessity of a Defense Law Firm
At DM Cantor, we have handled – and won – a very high percentage of the “Sex Crimes” cases involving private counsel in the State of Arizona. We have one of the largest libraries with research materials devoted to challenging accusations involving sex crimes, including Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation. In addition, our attorneys have attended numerous seminars sponsored by the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center (the leading center in the United States which assists in the defense of the falsely accused). Our attorneys have been highly trained in the clinical and forensic interviewing techniques of children and their families. This allows us to properly question detectives and other mental health professionals who may have initially interviewed the alleged victim. If the interviewing process was not done correctly, it can often be shown that the detective “led” the alleged victim into giving the necessary answers required to charge the defendant.
Because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we have vast experience of a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases including criminal sexual allegations. One of the primary defense tactics we use is your Right to Remain Silent / Miranda Rights. In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating comments (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements.
If a person that has been brought in for questioning, detained or arrested and were refused to speak with a lawyer, we can use the “denial of right to Counsel”. Other defenses may include:
- Challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case.
- Exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA evidence testing; and computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures.
- Exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction.
When facing criminal sexual accuastions, it is important to hire a skilled Sexual Exploitation lawyer to defend you, who has knowledge of all the possible defenses, to assert in your case.