Enticing a child for indecent purposes is what Ryan considers to be sort of a companion crime. That means that it is common to see this charge attached to an indictment where someone is accuses of some sort of illicit sexual act toward a minor.
Indictments for sexual abuse of a minor are usually stacked with multiple charges anyway this charge just increases available punishment and broadens the scope of relevant evidence for prosecutors.
The Law - O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5
A person commits the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes when he or she solicits, entices, or takes any child under the age of 16 years to any place whatsoever for the purpose of child molestation or indecent acts.
So, lets break this crime down piece-by-piece and look at what prosecutors must prove to convict someone of this crime. Remember, prosecutors must prove each and every one of these crime elements to convict you of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Element #1: He or She Solicits, Entices or Takes any Child
The most important thing for this element is to understand how the law defines "solicits," "entices," and "takes." We will look at examples of where Georgia's courts have taken the time to rule on each of them.
- Solicits - In 2014 the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a conviction for enticing a child for indecent purposes where prosecutor's evidence was simply that the defendant took the child somewhere and then solicited sodomy.
- Entices - Enticing can be quite broad. In 2013 a conviction of a Coweta County law enforcement officer for enticing a child for indecent purpose was affirmed. On the night of May 10-11, 2009, the officer asked the victim to sneak out of her house to meet him. After sneaking out of the house, the victim called the officer, who picked her up in his unmarked patrol car and drove to a nearby church parking lot. There, he kissed the victim, removed her shirt and rubbed her breasts and thighs. After approximately an hour, the officer returned the victim to her home. He was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
- Takes - In 2016 the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld an enticing conviction where the defendant took a minor child from one place to another in his car for the purpose of committing prostitution.
The takeaway from this is that enticing a child for indecent purposes requires an element of asportation. Asportation, which is also required for the crime of kidnapping, means that there is some movement. The child must be moved, brought, or convinced to move.
Element #2: Child Under the Age of 16
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim is under the age of 16. So, if testimony comes out at trial that the alleged victim is sixteen or older than there can be no conviction of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Element #3: For the Purpose of Child Molestation or Indecent Acts
Prosecutors must also prove that the purpose of any of the asportation must be for the purpose of committing child molestation or indecent acts. In other words, it is only illegal to entice, solicit, or take a child under the age of 16 if it is done for the purpose of committing child molestation or indecent acts. So, prosecutors must prove your mental state at the time that the alleged taking, enticing, or solicitation of an underage child occurred.
A person convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes faces a term of imprisonment for anywhere between ten and thirty years. The defendant would also be required to register as a sex offender pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12 and be sentenced under the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.2. That statute provides that any time someone is convicted of enticing, at least one year of the sentence is to be served on probation, however, the minimum sentence (ten years for this crime) cannot be suspended, probated, or stayed. The defendant is not eligible to be sentences as a first offender upon conviction of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall not be subject to the special conditions Georgia imposes upon those convicted of sexual offenses.
Under certain circumstances the court may sentence the defendant to lesser than the minimum sentence. The defendant and the prosecutors, however, must agree to go below the minimum sentence and a list of certain conditions must be met. They are:
- The victim must not have been physically restrained during the crime.
- Victim must not have been transported.
- Victim must not have suffered any physical harm.
- The court does not find any similar transactions.
- Defendant did not use a deadly weapon or an object when used offensively could cause serious bodily injury.
- Defendant has not been convicted of a sexual offense or specific sexual crimes involving a minor.
Being accused of enticing a child for indecent purposes is no small deal. You must prepare a defense, you must be courageous, and you must get ready to fight against the charges. Simply sitting by and letting time pass is not going to help defend against these charges. Contact us today, come meet with Ryan and let us begin fighting for your freedom.