What is Sexual Communication with a Minor?
Sexual communication with a minor — even about lawful sexual conduct involving a teenage minor — is a felony in Oklahoma. Illegal sexual communication with a minor can take place in a number of ways, all involving communications technology. Unlawful sexual communication can occur online, by phone using an app like Snapchat, or simply by texting or calling.
In Oklahoma, it is against the law for a person to facilitate, encourage, offer, or solicit sexual conduct with a minor or a person who is believed to be a minor through the use of technology, or to engage in any sort of communication with a minor for sexual or prurient interest by use of any technology.
Prohibited communication technology includes but isn’t limited to the following: telephone, cell phone, CD, DVD, VHS, text messaging, any computer or computer system, internet, blogging site, email, pager, or any other electronic device capable of transmission of a message, images, or sound. Okla. Stat. 21 § 1040.13a
Knowingly transmitting sexual communication with a minor is also against the law. Knowingly printing, publishing, or reproducing a prohibited communication is against the law. Knowingly selling, buying, receiving, exchanging, or disseminating a prohibited communication is against the law.
Oklahoma law further prohibits any person from knowingly disseminating information in support of unlawful sexual communications with a minor. Prohibitions include simple information, a website or an advertisement for communication with a minor or to access the location or identifying information of a minor. That can include cell phone number, name, address, or physical characteristics.
No actual sexual intercourse or physical conduct is required for a conviction under this statute. The communication alone is sufficient. In addition, the statute covers all minors, even those who are 16 and 17 years of age. If the defendant is an adult and is having sexual communications, such a “sexting” with a 17-year-old minor, the defendant could be convicted under this statute.
Penalties For Sexual Communication With a Minor
The crime is a felony in Oklahoma and is punishable by prison for a term up to 10 years, a fine up to $10,000 or prison time and a fine. Each communication is a separate offense, allowing for heightened penalties in egregious cases.
This is a Level 2 sex crime. As such, a person convicted must register as a sex offender every six months for 25 years.
Sexual communication with a minor is often charged together with making lewd or indecent proposals to a child under the age of 16, also a felony in Oklahoma punishable by at least 3 and as much as 20 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
In order for a prosecutor to secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the actions were taken by the defendant knowingly. The lack of knowledge is a defense to this crime. If you are being charged, talk to an experienced Tulsa criminal attorney as soon as possible. Help is out there.
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