According to ARS 13-3554, an individual can be accused of luring a minor for sexual exploitation if they offer or solicit sexual conduct to another individual while knowing or under the belief that the other individual is a minor (under 18-years-old).
The “belief” part of this particular statute is very important to note. This is because an individual can still be arrested and convicted of luring a minor for sexual exploitation if the “minor” in the case was not really a minor, but was actually an undercover police officer just mimicking a minor. In some cases, a police officer will log on to an Internet chat room, where they pose as a child and attempt to interact with possible perpetrators. Once the undercover police officer has obtained enough evidence against a perpetrator, the officer will then suggest that the two of them “meet-up”. When the perpetrator arrives to meet the “minor” in person, the perpetrator is arrested instead.
Under Arizona law, a luring charge is considered to be a ‘Dangerous Crime Against Children’ if the “minor” is 15-years-old or younger. If convicted of luring a “minor” under the age of 15, the defendant will face a minimum of 5 years in state prison. In addition, the defendant will not be eligible for probation. A luring charge can sometimes be seen as unfair to the defendant, and a criminal defense attorney can help individuals protect their rights. For more information, or to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a JacksonWhite sex crimes attorney, call (480)-818-9943. Our criminal defense team can assess your case in relation to Arizona law, and work to get you the help you need. Consultations can be held at our Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Peoria locations.