Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

“To Catch a Predator” Style Sting Operations in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

Law enforcement officers throughout Georgia are cracking down on adults who they believe are contacting minors online and engaging them in sexualized conversations, sharing photos/pictures of a sexual nature, and arranging in-person meetings.  Undercover agents from several different police agencies are posing as young males and females and engaging in conversations with adults.  The age of consent for a sexual relationship in Georgia is 16.  Anyone younger than 16 cannot legally consent to sexual relations.  This can be a little misleading because sexual touching or relations constitutes a lot more than just sexual intercourse.  Even a massage, back rub, kissing, or even cuddling can be construed as a sexual act.   And it doesn't even need to actually happen for you to be charged.  If you make plans to meet someone over a social media message, text, call, or email and you have had sexualized conversations with them, law enforcement can intervene and arrest you for Child Molestation (attempt)  or Enticing a Minor for Indecent Purposes

These are extremely serious charges that include lengthy prison sentences and/or probation where you must register as a sex offender.  Most law enforcement are not sympathetic and will not give you the benefit of the doubt if they feel that you are preying upon minors.  If you are on a social media site such as Whisper, Shush, Spout, No Name or Yik Yak, etc., and you find yourself chatting with someone you do not know, do not assume that person is of legal age.  Even if you don't make plans to meet, just sharing a provocative picture with them can lead to you being charged with serious crimes such as Possession of Child Pornography, Obscene Internet Contact with a Minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, or electronically furnishing obscene materials to a minor. There are many different Georgia Sex Crimes that can be charged in these situations. 

We are often asked about the situation when you are talking to a police officer via social media who is of legal age but is posing as an underage person.  Isn't this entrapment?  And no crime has actually been committed, right?  Wrong!!!  In the eyes of law enforcement, just taking the steps to entice a child for a sexual act can lead to an arrest.  Depending on what was said, done, and sent, there can be defenses, but the court process is slow-moving, and you don't want to find yourself sitting in a jail cell while the matter is being sorted out.  An experienced Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer can help.  The attorneys at Lawson and Berry have had a lot of experience with charges of this nature and can help you or a loved one if you are facing such charges.  The sooner you contact an attorney if you believe you are facing charges or are being investigated, the better they are able to assist you and prepare your defense.  A skilled sex crime defense lawyer may be able to prevent charges from being made altogether in certain situations. 

Kimberly Berry is an expert who understand Georgia’s Sex Crime Laws. Contact us for the help you or a family member needs.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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