Sometimes, people are willing to go to great lengths for certain things – and do things that land them in a lot of legal trouble in the process. One Minnesota man recently did just that and now is going to pay with years of his life.
The man in question met a girl online who was only 14. He then drove from his home in Minnesota to Iowa in order to pick her up and transport her across state lines for sex. Prosecutors contended that while the girl told him she was 18, he ignored clear signs that she was in fact underage and then took her across state lines without further attempts to determine her real age, where he willfully engaged in sex with her.
Unfortunately, transportation of a Minor across state lines is a federal offense, and the man in the case above was ultimately sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for his crimes. It should serve as a cautionary tale when it comes to meeting people over the internet.
Here’s what you need to know about transportation of minor charges and what can be faced if you are found guilty.
What Is Transportation of a Minor?
Under federal law, there are a few different ways in which someone can violate the law when it comes to the transportation of a minor. These include:
Transportation with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity
Under federal law, you cannot provide a form of transportation knowingly to someone under age 18 with the intent that they will then engage in sexual activity with you.
Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct
Traveling between states or into the United States to engage in illicit sexual conduct is illegal. The law defines illicit sexual conduct as a sexual act with someone under the age of 18, the production of child pornography, or commercial sex with someone under age 18.
It is also illegal to receive monetary gain or a commercial advantage in facilitating the transportation of others for illicit sexual conduct.
Conspiracy and Attempt
If you conspire with others or attempt any of the things listed here, then you can be prosecuted and punished as if you actually followed through with the crime.
Penalties for Transportation of Minors
Transportation of minors is a serious offense and the penalties can be severe. You can spend time in prison, be made to pay steep fines, and even be required to register as a sex offender.
There are the differing minimum and maximum sentences under this law that depend on how severe the offense was. If you are found guilty of transportation with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, then you can face no less than 10 years in prison, but that can go all the way to life depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
If you are found guilty of traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, then you can face up to 30 years in prison. For ancillary offenses, you can also face up to 30 years in prison and if found guilty of an attempt or conspiracy, you will be sentenced in the same manner as if you had followed through with the crime.
As you can see, these are serious federal charges. So make sure you understand the charges against you completely and mount the most robust defense possible.
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.