The state of New Jersey takes a tough approach to crimes involving online solicitation or enticement of minors for any criminal act, including illicit sexual conduct. Under state law, you can be charged with a second degree indictable offense if you use the Internet or any electronic means to make contact with, encourage or attempt to schedule a meeting with anyone under the age of 18, if it can be shown that the purpose of the meeting was to commit a crime.
The New Jersey statute requires the prosecution to show three things to obtain a conviction:
- The person solicited was under the age of 18
- There was objective evidence that the defendant tried to lure or entice the child to meet somewhere
- There is credible evidence that the purpose of the meeting was to engage in criminal or illegal activity
The statute does not include a definition of what the legislature meant by “lure or entice,” so that is often the focus of an effective defense.
Under New Jersey law, enticing or luring a minor through electronic means is a second degree offense. Depending on circumstances, a conviction can bring a sentence of up to 10 years. In addition, the court is not permitted to suspend or administratively dispose of any portion of such a sentence if the defendant is a second time offendor.
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