The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Siefman Law provide strong legal representation for individuals accused of solicitation of a minor in Portland and across the state of Oregon. We know that the immediate consequences of a mere allegation (negative attention and social stigma) and the long-term consequences of a conviction (fines, jail time, permanent registry as a sex offender) can cause fear, stress, and strain for you and your family.
While these are serious charges that should never be taken lightly, know that help is available to you. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better off you will likely be. Early intervention is key in many cases, including solicitation of a minor, and could prevent charges from being filed in certain circumstances.
When a person is accused of a solicitation crime, there can often be some dispute about what the alleged offender’s actual intentions were. Law enforcement agencies may allege solicitation when an adult was simply being friendly with a minor in a way that they believed was appropriate for the situation. Regardless of the circumstances and even if you believe you have not done anything wrong, do not speak to law enforcement until you have hired an attorney to represent you.
If you arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for any kind of solicitation of a minor crime in Oregon, turn to a law firm that will look out for your rights and best interests. Attorney Jeff Siefman and the team at Siefman Law LLC understands the impact that criminal charges like these can have on your life and we work to help you achieve the most desirable outcome to your case. Call (503) 395-2135 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Solicitation of a Minor Laws in Oregon
Oregon Revised Statute § 163.431(5) defines solicit as “to invite, request, seduce, lure, entice, persuade, prevail upon, coax, coerce or attempt to do so.” Oregon has a number of criminal offenses relating to solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct.
The three major crimes connected to solicitation of a minor are luring a minor, purchasing sex with a minor, and online sexual corruption of a child.
Under Oregon Revised Statute § 163.057(1), a person commits luring a minor if they furnish to or use with a minor, a police officer posing as a minor, or an agent of a police officer posing as a minor, a visual representation or explicit verbal description or narrative account of sexual conduct for the purpose of inducing the minor or purported minor to engage in sexual conduct.
Luring a minor is a Class C felony, but Oregon Revised Statute § 163.057(2) establishes that a person is not liable to prosecution if their account of sexual conduct was “merely an incidental part of an otherwise non-offending whole and serves some purpose other than titillation.”
Oregon Revised Statute § 163.057(3) also provides that it is an affirmative defense against a luring a minor charge that their account of sexual conduct “was furnished or used for the purpose of psychological or medical treatment and was furnished by a treatment provider or by another person acting on behalf of the treatment provider.” It is also an affirmative defense that the alleged offender had reasonable cause to believe that the person to whom their account was furnished or used was not a minor, or the defendant was less than three years older than the minor or purported minor.
Under Oregon Revised Statute § 163.413, a person is guilty of purchasing sex with a minor if they pay, offer, or agree to pay a fee to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a minor, a police officer posing as a minor, or an agent of a police officer posing as a minor. Purchasing sex with a minor is a Class C felony for a first offense so long as the age of the purported minor was at least 16 years of age, but a person with one or more prior convictions will be charged with a Class B felony.
Online sexual corruption is broken into two degrees.
- Oregon Revised Statute § 163.432 establishes that a person commits online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree if they are 18 years of age or older and, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying their own sexual desire or that of another person, knowingly use an online communication to solicit a child to engage in sexual contact or sexually explicit conduct and offer or agree to physically meet with the child. Online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree is a Class C felony.
- Oregon Revised Statute § 163.433, a person commits online sexual corruption of a child in the first degree when they commit online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree and intentionally take a substantial step toward physically meeting with or encountering the child. Online sexual corruption of a child in the first degree is a Class B felony.
What are the Penalties for Solicitation of a Minor?
All of the crimes listed above are Class C or Class B felony offenses. Depending on how the crime you have been charged with has been classified, a conviction could be punishable as follows:
- Class C Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $125,000.
- Class B Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
When a person is convicted of purchasing sex with a minor, the court must impose mandatory minimum sentences that include a fine of at least $10,000 for a first conviction and $20,000 for a subsequent conviction. When a court determines that a person cannot pay the full amount of a mandatory minimum fine, it must impose and cannot suspend a fine in an amount that the court determines the person is able to pay.
Another possible consequence of some convictions can be the requirement to register as a sex offender. Sex offenders are classified into one of three tiers, and it will generally be at least five years before a person can seek relief from this requirement.
Defending Against Solicitation of a Minor Charges
Most crimes that allege a person was attempting to solicit a minor for sexual conduct will require a prosecutor to prove what an alleged offender was thinking at the time they committed the alleged offense. You are the only person who can provide this kind of insight.
In other words, you should not be convicted of a solicitation crime if that was not your true intent, if you were tricked into believing that the individual was of legal age, if you’ve been falsely accused, or for countless other reasons.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will know how to identify the critical flaws in a prosecutor’s case and use them to your advantage. With the right attorney on your side, you could see the charges reduced or dropped, and could be able to put this stressful situation behind you.
If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for any kind of alleged solicitation of a minor offense in the Portland area, it is very important for you to get legal representation as soon as you can. The legal team at Siefman Law is ready to provide understanding and aggressive legal help to protect your rights and your freedom.
Attorney Jeff Siefman has been licensed in Oregon since 2007 and has handled hundreds of different criminal cases. He can discuss your situation and next steps when you call (503) 395-2135 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.