A man in Hall County is facing more charges after being arrested for enticing a child for indecent purposes. Elmer Bonilla is now facing a charge of child molestation. Bonilla is a 27-year-old man who is being accused of communicating inappropriately with an 11-year-old girl through social media.
After recent investigation into the case, it was discovered that he also allegedly persuaded her to meet him at a vacant house in the area.
The results of forensic interviews with the child and other evidence led to the child molestation charges.
Crimes such as the ones mentioned above are highly stigmatized. The moment someone is accused of a sex crime or a crime involving a minor, the majority of people jump to the conclusion that he or she must be guilty. An accusation or an arrest does not mean guilt.
Let's look into the laws behind each of the charges faced by Bonilla.
Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes in Georgia:
Georgia Law defines enticing a child for indecent purposes in Georgia as “when a person solicits, entices, or takes any child under the age of 16 years to a place whatsoever for the purpose of child molestation or indecent acts.” O.C.G.A. §16-6-5.
An element of the statute is asportation or movement. There must be some taking or moving of a child somewhere with the intent of child molestation or indecency. The asportation itself can be accomplished through enticement, force, or persuasion.
In order to be convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes, the state of Georgia must prove that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by demonstrating that he or she committed an act in order to entice or take a child for an indecent purpose.
If convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes, a person will face a sentence of ten to thirty years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender in Georgia.
Child Molestation in Georgia:
Georgia Law defines child molestation in Georgia as “when a person does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person; or by means of an electronic device, transmits images of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.” O.C.G.A. §16-6-4(a).
In order to be convicted of child molestation, the state of Georgia must prove that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by demonstrating that he or she committed an immoral or indecent act to a child.
If convicted, the conviction is a felony conviction, and the punishment can include a prison sentence of five to twenty years and counseling by the Department of Corrections. Any subsequent conviction of child molestation will increase the prison term to either ten to thirty years or life in prison. He or she will also be required to register as a sex offender in Georgia.
Sex Crimes in Georgia - especially those involving children are taken very seriously. However, it is important for me as Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer to stress that no one should ever be assumed guilty just because he or she has been accused of a crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact us today. We can evaluate your specific case and see what Georgia Criminal Defenses may apply.