Internet sexual arrangements happen often. The ability to anonymously engage in sexual behavior online is extremely prevalent. Many people arrange to engage in these sexual acts in person. When sexual activity is done online with a minor – a person under the age of 18 – there is the risk of being caught and charged with a felony. Many organizations and the police themselves are working undercover and are the ones on the other side of the computer. That is exactly what happened to a 38-year-old Dearborn Heights, Michigan woman.
On Tuesday, Kristina Lynn Howarth, was charged on multiple sexual assault accounts. She was charged with two accounts of child sexually abusive activity and one count of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime.
Howarth had been in communication online with what she thought was a father and arranged to meet up to have sex with both the father and his underage daughter.
According to the Detroit News, the sheriff department stated that Hawarth had “expressed a willingness to have sex with who she thought was a father and his (underage) daughter.” It was on Monday that she was arrested when she showed up for the prearranged meeting.
The Penalty for Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is illegal in every single state of the United Stated. While details of the penalty might vary from state to state, most states include penalties of imprisonment, fines, and registration as a sex offender, as well as restriction on probation and parole. While most states do not have the death penalty as a punishment for child rape, most take sexual abuse and rape cases extremely seriously and impose intense punishments.
Child Sexual Offenses Through History
Throughout the last thirty years, most state legislative have even increased prison time for those that are charged with a child related sex offense. The target of this strict sentencing is to penalize repeat offenders who have victimize multiple children. It is also there to target those that stood in a position of trust with respect to their victims such as parents, pastors, or teachers.
Michigan takes sexual abuse charges extremely seriously. For Howarth, she is facing up to 20-year felonies on each of these accounts. That means that she could face up to 60 years in prison for attempting to have sex with this father and his underage daughter. Even though Howarth did not actually get the chance to commit the crime, she had all the intent to commit the crime.
Are You Being Charged with Internet Related Child Sexually Abusive Activity?
Engaging in online sexual experiences is a common occurrence these days. The problem is that what might seem somewhat of a fantasy or unreal is actually very much real. It has the potential to suck in individuals who might not have wanted to be there in the first place. Viewing child pornography alone is reason enough for a conviction of a felony. These are seriously charges that are hard to fight alone.
If you have been charged with an Internet related child sexually abusive activity or you believe you are being investigated with issues related to Internet sexual abuse, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Please call my office today:
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000