Federal criminal penalties for sex crimes involving minors are incredibly harsh. In addition to long prison sentences, fines and harsh probationary periods, individuals convicted of federal crimes involving a sex or sexual misconduct with a minor can face a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. Unlike other crimes such as murder, sex offender's face a lifelong stigma from the registry that may make a fresh start very nearly impossible.
A 36-year-old Tampa Florida man is currently facing federal offenses for allegedly abducting a 14-year-old boy from Southern California. The man was arrested in Tampa but faces federal prosecution in San Diego. According to news reports, the accused is facing a variety of criminal charges under both state and federal law, including child abduction, enticement of a minor and enticing a minor to produce child pornography.
According to prosecutors in the matter, a federal investigation revealed that the Florida man contacted the teen one month ago via the Internet and that the two exchanged texts messages. After finding out about the alleged relationship, the parents of the young man apparently notified local law enforcement. The man and the boy were taken into custody after arriving in Florida on a flight from Southern California.
While federal charges for sex crimes are certainly serious, the media rarely, if ever, has access to the full facts, often leaving readers with a false impression. Further, due to the emotional nature of the charges it can be difficult for some people to see through the noise in order to listen to the facts. The job of a good defense attorney is to ensure such noise does not keep a defendant from the fair trial they are entitled.
Source: CBS8.com, "Federal charge filed against accused teen kidnapper," June 17, 2013