Notary Public & Legal Support Network Blog

Saturday, April 19, 2008

SJC: Online messages can be grounds for sex charges in MA

In a ruling that should be a warning to all online predators, the state's highest court has ruled that a person can be charged with enticing a minor simply by sending online messages over the Internet.

Lawyers for Richard Disler had argued that his September 2005 conviction in Essex County for child enticement should be overturned because the online instant messages he exchanged with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl were merely words.

Disler's lawyers argued the law requires the suspect do more such as travel to a rendezvous.

But the state Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, noting that a person can be charged with enticement, if he or she uses "words, gestures or other means" with criminal intent to induce a minor.

The court ruled there is nothing in the language of the law that indicates there must be an overt act.

The court also rejected other arguments claiming his free speech was violated and that this was entrapment because the girl didn't exist.

Disler was sentenced to three years probation with conditions that he have no unsupervised contact with children under 16 and register as a sex offender.

1 Comments:

  • Excellent. Sooner or later scumbags will get the idea that it's not ok to comb the internet looking for kids to have sex with...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 22, 2008 at 5:03 PM  

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