Nearly everyone uses the internet today, from young children to older people. While most of us use the internet for legitimate pursuits, there is a dark side to it in which adults lure children.
An Illinois man found out the hard way just how harsh the law can treat someone who uses the internet to entice a child. He was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for engaging online in sexually explicit conversations with a 16-year-old girl. His purpose was to lure her into a sexual relationship.
Here’s what you need to know about this crime.
Enticement: What Is It?
Enticement is a sex crime that usually involves offenses against children. Due to the fact that young people are involved, the crime carries severe penalties. It’s a federal charge as well as a crime within Illinois to entice or lure a minor.
Under federal law, enticement occurs when someone tempts or attracts another in an effort to persuade them to perform actions for their gain or pleasure. Basically, if anyone knowingly coerces, induces, persuades, or entices a person to travel to engage in any sexual activity, they can be charged with enticing a minor if the person enticed is under the age of 18.
Federal penalties include imprisonment for at least 10 years.
Luring a Minor in Illinois
In Illinois, there is a crime similar to federal enticement called “luring a minor”. Under Illinois law, luring a minor happens when an adult lures a child away from their location in order to commit an act that is unlawful.
In this scenario, the offender is at least 18 and knows that the minor is under age 15. They must communicate or contact the minor electronically with the intent to persuade, transport, or lure the minor to a location for unlawful purposes. This is done under a few circumstances:
- Without the approval of the minor’s parent or guardian
- The luring person must be a stranger to the guardians or parents
- They must commit an act in furtherance of the attempt to lure after communicating with the minor
Luring a minor is considered a Class 4 felony under Illinois law. If you are convicted of it, then you must complete a sex offender evaluation before sentencing. If you have any prior convictions for sex offenses, it is a Class 2 felony. Class 4 felony punishments may be as long as three years in prison, while Class 2 felony punishments may go up to seven years.
Any repeat offenses are considered Class 4 felonies. Offenders with a prior sex offense conviction face penalties for a Class 1 felony in the instance of a second offense. A Class 1 felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Three offenses or beyond are considered a Class X felony. Class X felonies are the most serious felonies you can face outside of first-degree murder charges. They can result in a mandatory minimum of 6 to 30 years in prison, though you can face life if the circumstances of the case are serious enough. Probation is not an option for Class X felonies.
Sex Offender Registration
If you are convicted of luring a minor in Illinois, you will have to register as a sex offender. In most cases, this means that, for a period of 10 years, you will need to register annually after your release from prison.
Any changes to your registration information must be reported to law enforcement in your area within three days. You must register with the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the area in which you live.
If you are deemed sexually dangerous or violent, then you will have to register every three months for the rest of your life after release from prison. The same is true if you are deemed a sexual predator.
The annual fee for registration as a sex offender in Illinois is $100. As a sex offender, you will be unable to be in a school or within 500 feet of school property. You can do so with the permission of the school board or superintendent if you are a parent to a child at the school. It is also unlawful for you to be present in public parks. Violating this condition is a Class A misdemeanor.
Additionally, it is against Illinois law for registered sex offenders who have been convicted of a sex offense to access or use social media while they are on supervised release, probation, or parole.
Enticement of a minor or luring of a minor are serious crimes that can impact you for the rest of your life. If you are charged with this crime, it’s vital to understand the charges against you and your rights in the process.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.