Oklahoma has a number of laws to protect children from inappropriate sexual conduct and exploitation. One of those laws forbids making a lewd or indecent proposal to a minor in Oklahoma. Here is what you need to know about the law and how it is handled in Tahlequah.
The Law Against Making A Lewd Or Indecent Proposal To A Minor In Oklahoma
This law is considered to be a catch-all statute, meaning that it covers a lot of ground that other laws regarding rape and child sexual abuse might miss. It also allows a prosecutor a great deal of leeway when charging and prosecuting crimes of child sexual abuse. Making lewd or indecent proposals to a child also includes engaging in sexual acts with a child. The crime is a felony in Tahlequah.
Oklahoma law defines the crime as knowingly and intentionally engaging in any sort of lewd or indecent act with a child or making any sort of oral, written, or electronic or computer-generated lewd or indecent proposal to a child under the age of 16 or who is believed to be under the age of 16. In essence, the law prohibits both sexual communications and acts. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
In particular, all sexual communication in whatever form is expressly prohibited. This includes asking, inviting, enticing, or persuading any child to go alone with any person to a secluded, remote, or secret place with the unlawful and willful intent and purpose to commit any crime against public decency and morality, as defined by law, with the child.
In this day and age, it is not just a telephone or in-person proposal that is prohibited. Also prohibited are communications by cell phone or apps, texting, computer chat rooms, written communications, sending of lewd photographs, and “sexting.” It includes any communication of a sexual nature or made to entice a child into sexual activity.
To be actionable, the adult must be at least three years older than the victim.
A conviction can mean a prison term from 3 to 20 years if the child is under 16, and at least 25 years if the child is under 12. A subsequent conviction could mean a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
Also, because this is a sexual crime, a conviction will require the defendant to register with the sex offender registry once released.
Defenses may be available to you and should be explored with your Tahlequah attorney. The act or proposition must be made knowingly and intentionally. You either know that the child is under 16 or reasonably believe that to be true and the communication must be intentional. Accidental communications or communications sent in the belief that the child was in fact over the age of 16 can be a defense.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer
Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you are facing charges for lewd and indecent proposals to a child in Oklahoma.
For a free consultation, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.