I was recently involved in a computer solicitation case in which my client was accused of enticing a "13 year old" (who in reality was a cop) to a location under one of our local bridges. The investigation began when a 14 year old created a myspace page advertising himself as 22 and would have testified that he advertised himself as being as much as 31. When the cop took over the chat he told my client that he was 13 to which my client said that he thought he was 21. The cop responded "I lied." The defense was that my client was simply showing upto see the actual age of the person before rejecting the encounter.
I liked this defense and while it may have been a bit "out there" thought we had decent oddsof success. We elected to proceed jury waived. On the day of trial we struck a deal which avoided both a felony conviction and registration as a sex offender. The Bangor Daily article is here.
I was intrigued when just a few days later the same judge who reluctantly accepted the plea in my case sentenced a computer enticement case as follows:
Gordon D. Lovely was sentenced to five years in prison with all but one year suspended also was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years after his release . . ..
. . .
Lovely pleaded guilty Friday to one count of solicitation of a child by a computer, a Class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, the more serious Class B felony charge of attempted gross sexual assault was dismissed, Roberts said.
A tip to Bangor police that an 11-year-old-girl was being asked online to meet an adult male led investigators to Lovely....A Bangor police detective posing as the girl, according to Roberts, took over the online conversations with Lovely. When Lovely showed up late last year expecting to meet the girl, he was arrested.
PS: I get such a kick out of the way I get demonized in the "comment" sections.