Maryland Marine charged with sexual solicitation of a minor

A member of the U.S. Marine Corps was arrested in North Carolina earlier this month and is facing charges for sexual solicitation of a minor. Since the alleged crime took place in Maryland, the man will not be charged until he is extradited to Prince George County.

The allegations stem from a report by a teenager's parent who claimed the marine solicited his son for sexual acts over a number of months last year. Law enforcement officials believe more minors may have also been solicited by the man and are actively seeking additional minors who were allegedly contacted by the man.

Solicitation does not mean sex

In Maryland, as in other states, the mere act of soliciting a minor for sex is a crime. A sexual act does not need to occur for a person to be accused, and possibly convicted, of the crime of solicitation.

The word "solicit" means "command, authorize, urge, entice, request, or advise" according to Maryland law. Solicitation of a minor can occur in a number of ways such as:

  • In person by you or another person
  • By cellphone - texting or phone calls
  • By email or other written correspondence

Additionally, a person may be accused of soliciting for illegal sex in Maryland even if he or she is in another state. For example, if a minor is in Maryland and receives an email soliciting sex from someone in another state, the person doing the soliciting may be accused of a crime in Maryland, as well as the state he or she is in at the time the email was sent.

Solicitation penalties

Most states have laws that make solicitation a felony. In Maryland, a person convicted of soliciting a minor for sex may face up to 10 years in jail plus a fine of up to $25,000 for each count. In Delaware, a person so convicted may receive up to 15 years of jail time. Convictions in some states, like Virginia, carry mandatory minimum sentences.

In the case of the marine, if more minors come forward with accusations of solicitation against him, he may be facing a number of counts of solicitation. If he is further accused of sexual contact or sexual abuse of a minor, the penalties he may face are increased.

Help for the accused

If you are accused of a sexual crime, seek the support of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. An attorney experienced with defending sex crime cases can help ensure that your rights are protected.