Police investigators may search the Internet where discussions of sexual activity are taking place. Officers pose as teenagers and interact with strangers. A person interacting with others in the chat room may make a date with the person believed to be a teenager. When the stranger arrives at the designated meeting place, instead of meeting the expected teenager, the suspect is surprised by police officers. The officers might then arrest the suspect, who could be charged with the crime of online solicitation of a minor.
This scenario rang true for a Frederick County youth soccer coach. The parents of a teen girl that the man knew consented to having her cellphone examined after she was found to be intoxicated. Officers said they found numerous Facebook messages from the coach offering to buy her alcohol. The messages contained conversations between the two that the police deemed inappropriate.
A detective used the girl’s phone and contacted the man, pretending to be the girl. A meeting was arranged between the coach and the girl for a time at her home when her parents would be away.
When the coach arrived at the juvenile’s home, he was arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He has no criminal record and is being held on a $50,000 bond. His home computer and has been seized and is being reviewed for evidence; his other communication devices are also being checked. Someone in this situation often consults with an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance.
Source: Herald-Mail Media, “Youth soccer coach charged with soliciting teen girl,” Feb. 12, 2014