While a conviction for any crime has consequences, being convicted of a sex crime can carry some of the toughest penalties. Besides the legal repercussions that come with sex crime allegations, the personal reputation of the accused individual is also at stake. It is true that every person who is accused of a crime is innocent unless or until proven otherwise, but people accused of sex crimes are often considered guilty even before their trial begins.
A 33-year-old Sussex man is currently facing such charges, as he was recently arrested and charged with use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
On June 29, a Waukesha County sheriff's deputy posed as a 14-year-old girl in an Internet chat room. According to the criminal complaint, the suspect began to chat with the deputy. Authorities claim the suspect made the first contact, but that remains to be proven. The complaint also alleged that the suspect discussed his drinking habits and made sexual references.
The two evidently ended their conversation for a period of time, but started it up again later the same day. Again, the suspect supposedly talked about sex to the undercover deputy and later agreed to meet at a park in Waukesha. Unknown to the suspect, a trap was being set. An officer working with the sheriff's department was waiting for the suspect in the vicinity of the park. The officer claims he saw the man sitting in his truck at the confirmed time and place.
Authorities also maintained that the suspect tried to leave once he realized that an officer was watching him. After being approached by police, the man apparently admitted to taking part in an online chat session.
Unlawful use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime is a serious charge. If convicted, the suspect could be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Society tends to condone the harsh treatment of individuals who are accused of sex crimes, but these individuals are also some of the most wrongfully convicted. In such a case, confessing without the presence of an attorney is never a good idea. But if it was coerced in any way, the confession cannot be used against the defendant in a court of law.
Source: Sussex Patch, "Sussex Man Caught in Internet Sex Sting," Joe Petrie, June 28, 2012