In Nevada, just like the rest of the country, predatory behavior targeting children is an especially egregious offense and can carry heavy penalties, with online sexual exploitation of children carrying some of the most severe penalties of any crime in Nevada.
Unfortunately, here and throughout the country, online predatory activity toward children has been on the rise. In many ways, the internet has been a modern-day double-edged sword with significant benefits and disastrous downfalls. Online sexual exploitation of children is one of the most unfortunate.
Last month, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department division of Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and other cooperating agencies set up a sting operation to target online child sex predators in the area, leading to 14 arrests between March 2 and 3.
One of the more concerning arrests was that of Erik Huey, who is accused of luring a child online for sexual contact and solicitation of a child for prostitution. Mr. Huey, an education blogger and former substitute teacher, has worked for several local schools over the years. At the time of his arrest, he was working as a mentor for at-risk students. Further investigation into his past conduct shows that he may have sexually engaged with minors in the past.
As part of the operation, LVMPD has asked that anyone who may have been victimized by these individuals come forward and contact the LVMPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force or Crime Stoppers.
In Nevada, online solicitation can be charged as a sex crime when it involves an underage individual. Under Nevada Revised Statute 201.195, it is a crime to incite, entice, or solicit a minor to engage in acts that constitute a “crime against nature.”
If the minor engaged in the act and was less than 14 years old, the perpetrator can be found guilty of a category A felony. This is punishable by imprisonment for life with a possibility of parole after the minimum of 10 years is served. If the minor was over 14 years old, the perpetrator can be found guilty of a category A felony with the same sentence but with possible parole after 5 years.
If the minor did not engage in the act, the perpetrator can be charged with a gross misdemeanor for a first offense, but any subsequent offense is considered a category A felony, punishable by imprisonment for life with a possibility of parole after 5 years.
Because of the severity of penalties regarding online child predatory behavior, if you have been charged with online solicitation of a minor, it is critical that you get legal counsel.
Contact the criminal defense team at LV Criminal Defense at (702) 623-6362 to understand your legal rights and options.