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Online Solicitation

What is internet solicitation and can it be charged as a sex crime?

To "solicit" something is to ask or petition for something. Some definitions even describe it as to "urgently ask." What then does it mean when we speak of online solicitation? Online solicitation can be charged as a sex crime, particularly when it involves someone under the age of 18. Solicitation can also refer to prostitution. While solicitation can carry a number of different connotations, in reference to online solicitation it is typically charged as a sex crime against a minor. In the state of Nevada, soliciting a minor to engage in an "infamous crime against nature" is prohibited by the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) § 201.195.

Soliciting a minor via a chat room or other online medium for the purpose of sexual gratification can also be charged as lewdness with a child under 14. Chat rooms and the like are infamous for sex crime allegations. If you were accused of soliciting sex, sexual favors, sexual pictures, or the like from a minor over the internet then you should take immediate action and get in touch with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney at Okabe & Haushalter today. This firm is nationally recognized for its strong representation in these types of cases. No matter how complex or difficult your case might seem, trust our firm to provide you with the legal counsel you need.

NRS 201.195 – Crime and Penalties

According to Nevada state law, it is a crime to incite, entice, or solicit a minor to engage in an act defined as an "infamous crime against nature." Per this section of the law, penalties will depend on whether or not the minor actually engaged in such acts as a result of the solicitation.

For example, should the minor engage in such acts:

  • For minors younger than 14 years of age, it is a category A felony punishable with imprisonment for life with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 10 years.
  • For minors 14 years of age or older, it is a category A felony punishable with imprisonment for life with the possibility of parole; eligibility is available after 5 years.

In situations where the minor did not engage in such acts:

  • First offense is a gross misdemeanor; and
  • Subsequent offenses are a category A felony.

NRS 201.230 – Crime and Penalties

Below, is what the law has to say about committing lewdness with a child:

1. A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child, is guilty of lewdness with a child.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person who commits lewdness with a child is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.
3. A person who commits lewdness with a child and who has been previously convicted of: (a) Lewdness with a child pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child; or (b) An offense committed in another jurisdiction that, if committed in this State, would constitute lewdness with a child pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child, is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.

Possible Affirmative Defenses Against Sex Crime

If you have been alleged of this or a related sex crime against a minor, one possible affirmative defense is that the defendant did not know that the victim was underage. This can be extremely common when it comes to online sex crimes, as it is easier for a person to conceal their age. Another possible defense against this type of criminal allegation is that the defendant did not commit the act of solicitation of a minor or indecency with a minor.

Contact Our Las Vegas Criminal Lawyers

If you've been alleged of a serious offense such as this, do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm. Okabe & Haushalter is known for our skilled representation of these cases, and we can fight to see that you don't face severe penalties such as sex offender registration and imprisonment. To obtain a free evaluation of your case, contact a Las Vegas sex crime attorney at the firm.

Okabe & Haushalter
Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney

Located at:
600 S. Tonopah Dr.
Suite 220
Las Vegas, NV 89106

Phone: (702) 508-0990

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