In the state of California, child luring or enticement is the effort to convince a minor, usually via the internet, to engage in sexual activities or play a role in child pornography. These are crimes that are illegal in every state, including California.
California makes it illegal to seduce a minor to engage in sexual conduct or to give or send “harmful matter”, including pornography, across channels in order to “arouse sexual feelings in the defendant or the child”. Note that this law does not differentiate between whether or not an actual, physical meeting took place or if it was done completely on line or via the telephone.
Not only that, but it is illegal for an adult to contact a child, arrange a meeting, encourage the child to expose his or her genitals (or for the defendant to expose his or her own genitals) in any communication format. If a physical meeting occurs as a result, the penalties increase exponentially.
Kidnapping a minor, persuading a minor to leave his or her home to meet with the adult for illegal purposes is a crime. This includes any efforts of threatening or scaring a child into submission. California law also makes it a crime for an adult to extend an employment offer to a minor to commit crimes, such as participating in sexual acts or filming such acts. If the child/minor is younger than 14, those penalties increase.
For seducement of a minor, a misdemeanor, the fine can be up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Any subsequent arrests become felonies with fines of up to $10,000 and up to three years in prison. If the criminal has a history of similar offenses, the jail time can be increased.
If a person is found guilty of contact a child with the intent of luring the minor to commit a sexual offense can incur a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail. Subsequent convictions include fines and longer prison sentences in California’s state penal system. While most agree life in prison is especially difficult for those convicted of sex crimes, the reality is they are usually released back into the public at some point.
As lawmakers seek to increase these punishments, it doesn’t happen overnight. All of these crimes are deemed part of luring or enticing and their effects against children are lifelong and can have negative consequences on the victims which can include addiction issues, mental health challenges and more. No one is immune from a criminal wishing to do harm to a child: one’s upbringing and careful teaching to avoid strangers helps, but it is not always enough. Predators strike wealthy and poverty-ridden families in their search for vulnerable children. They often have no preference in race, though some seek out certain genders and age ranges. The FBI is tireless in its efforts of investigating and then convicting those who commit sex crimes in the state of California, but that foundation starts at home.