Internet Sex Offenders

Charles Patrick Ewing

in Justice Perverted

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732678
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894550 | DOI:
Internet Sex Offenders

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This chapter examines laws, sentences, and law enforcement methods applicable to individuals who use or attempt to use the Internet as a means of arranging sexual encounters with minors, mostly teenagers. After reviewing the law and federal sentencing structure related to this offense, it presents empirical data on the nature and scope of this crime and reviews psychological research on those who commit this offense and the danger they pose to minors. These analyses are followed by an examination of so-called sting operations used by law enforcement and private organizations in which Internet sex offenders are led to believe that they are attempting to sexually lure a teenager but are instead communicating online with an adult “decoy.” The discussion includes an analysis of the legal doctrines of entrapment and impossibility, explaining why these defenses usually fail. Finally, the chapter attempts to reconcile the punishment meted out to these offenders (i.e., a minimum of ten years in prison) and the usually much lower criminal sentences prescribed for statutory rapists (adults who engage in sexual relations with minors who are willing but legally incapable of consent).

Keywords: Internet sex offenders; sex offences; sting operations; minors; entrapment; rapists; punishment; child exploitation; sexual predators

Chapter.  12553 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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