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What are the laws about internet solicitation of a minor in TN?

The internet has become as common a part of most of our lives as coffee for breakfast. We use the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, store our valuable memories, direct us to new places and even track our calorie consumption. 

While the technological age is pervasive in our lives and brings many benefits, it creates risks, too. These risks include legal hurdles and the potential of serious misunderstandings. One type of charge in Tennessee that can result from technological confusion is the exploitation of a minor by electronic means.

What are the types of electronic means that could be utilized under the umbrella of this sex crimes offense? Someone who is using a desktop or laptop computer could be accused of having engaged in the electronic exploitation of a minor. Over the past decade, people's reliance on cellphones has made the cellular devices a common source of electronic communication in sex crimes cases. Alleged illegal communication with a minor could be done over text, email and social media.

Of course, adults and minors may communicate electronically without doing anything wrong. The other part of the sex crime equation is the content and intention of the electronic communication. Tennessee law defines the electronic solicitation of a minor as follows:

"It is an offense for a person eighteen (18) years of age or older, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, electronic mail or Internet service, including webcam communications, directly or through another, to intentionally command, hire, persuade, induce or cause a minor to engage in simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive or in sexual activity, where such simulated sexual activity or sexual activity is observed by that person or by another."

The other aspect of the specific type of sexual offense is if an adult shares patently offensive content of him or herself or others engaging in sexual activity for means of arousing either the adult or the minor. The content can be video, photographs, drawings, etc. 

There is also a variety of activity that the state of Tennessee considers to be patently offensive, sexual behavior. If you have been accused of engaging in such actions, therefore, it is not surprising that you would have many questions. Perhaps you do not know what is allegedly wrong. If you are in this serious legal situation, refrain from talking to anyone about your sex crime case besides an experienced and trustworthy criminal defense lawyer.

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