Authorities are cracking down on online sex crimes in order to keep children safe. Many police officers participate in undercover activities in order to nab those allegedly performing indecent actions toward minors. A New Jersey man is facing prison time for sexual solicitation through the internet. He has been convicted and will be sentenced on Aug. 22. This makes it the second time the 34-year-old man was caught in an online sting operation.
In the February 2010 incident, the man was caught exposing himself to an undercover detective three times. He lay naked on a bed and used a webcam to show his body to the detective, whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl. Even though the man knew that his actions were illegal -- he continually apologized to the girl, stating that she was too young -- he continued to expose his naked body to the webcam.
This was not the first offense for the Merchant Marine. He was convicted as a sex offender in 2007 for a similar offense. He was chatting online with an undercover detective and asked her to touch her body. He received three years of probation for a charge of attempted criminal sexual contact.
This type of offense carries a possible punishment of $15,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. Prosecutors tend to fight for the maximum sentence possible for defendants accused of sex crimes. Even when a person is found guilty, there are ways to reduce charges. Probation and rehabilitation are possible forms of punishment that can be used in lieu of prison time. The man is still relatively young, and even if he does face several years in prison, he has time to rebuild his reputation and positively contribute to society.
Source: Morris NewsBee, "Sex offender convicted second time for coming on to undercover cop," June 17, 2014.