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Offenses Involving Online Messaging

The Dangers Of Online Messaging

Law enforcement agencies use sophisticated investigative techniques to target individuals suspected of soliciting sexual acts with minors over the internet. Unfortunately, many of their tactics end up targeting individuals who never intended to communicate with a minor and significantly infringe on their privacy.

Understanding The Offense Of Luring A Minor For Sexual Exploitation In Arizona

Arizona law defines luring a minor for sexual exploitation as “offering or soliciting sexual conduct with another person knowing or having reason to know that the other person is a minor.”

Individuals often find themselves charged with aggravated luring or luring a minor for sexual exploitation after online messaging or texting. Law enforcement agencies often have a detective impersonate a minor on internet dating websites or chat rooms, and this undercover detective will try to lure individuals into sexually charged conversations.

To identify the individual messaging them, the undercover detective will obtain a warrant or court order for subscriber information and internet protocol address (known as an “IP address”) data. While these methods are effective, the problem is that individuals who never intended to communicate with a minor are often targeted, and an individual’s privacy rights can be infringed.

If police obtained IP address data or other “private” information, the accused individual’s right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment may be violated. If so, much or all of the government’s evidence may be suppressed or otherwise unusable.

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