Internet Social Networking and Sex Crimes
Experienced Cincinnati Sex Crime Lawyers
The 21st Century is dominated by social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter
and Instagram. Now smartphone apps like Tinder, Tumblr and Snapchat are
on most mobile phones. Social networking is often harmless banter between
both strangers and friends. However, there is the underbelly of social
networking where the interacting is based upon sexual encounters.
Increasing Numbers of People Hooking Up Online
The reality is that sex sells. Therefore apps such as Tinder have secured
themselves a niche market share of social networking based upon sexual
encounters. Users of such social networking sites may very well find themselves
to be targets for false allegations. These apps allow socially awkward
people to have extroverted sexual conversations which may allow for an
actual meeting between individuals who are complete strangers, but those
strangers are under the belief they know each other's sexual interests.
What happens when there is miscommunication between two intimate strangers?
Possibly allegations of sexually improper behavior?
What constitutes consent in online dating?
At the end of the 20th Century and continuing in this century, the saying "No means no"
is embedded as the standard for society's social and sexual interaction.
However, the lines often get blurred when social media allows for the
free exchange of sexual ideologies and interests. Some perceive consent
to be given once two people both access a social networking site and then
the two people actually meet based upon the contact through the site.
Others perceive this same meeting as only preliminary social interaction
to determine if there is a common interest. The perception that is correct
is purely subjective and largely dictated by the specific communication
between the two people. Unfortunately, this leads not only to confusion,
but also allegations of sexual impropriety.
Advice for Avoiding Legal Trouble with Dating Apps
There is no perfect way to insulate yourself from being accused of a
sex crime. However, there are steps you can take when the platform for the meeting
between two people is based upon internet social networking:
only access social networking reserved for adults. Undoubtedly, minors will fall through these filters, but at least a filter
is in place.
Next, make sure there is a written conversation regarding age and
confirm the other person is an adult. Obviously, the other person can be untruthful about their age, however
society tends to distrust and dislike lying juveniles who deliberately
expose themselves to sexual situations. Society largely agrees sex should
be reserved only for consenting adults.
Once an age is provided, go one step further and
attempt to verify a fact based upon age. For example, someone who purports to be 19 or 20 should not have a Facebook
page that suggests they are still in high school. All adults have mature
indicators such as post-high school education or work experience.
Most minors live with their parents, so it is a good idea to
confirm the living situation. While it is common for some adults to also live with their parents, it
is important to confirm as many adult details as possible.
Do not ignore red flags. If the person is still in high school and does not have a driver's
license, but asserts he or she is 18, assume this is false and the person
is in fact underage.
The internet is full of deception. All adults are obligated to be completely
aware of the situation in order to ferret out deceptive minors. Ignoring
red flags will change the perception of you being a victim of a minor's
deception to you being viewed as a predator of children. Following these
guidelines, you can reduce your chances of ending up in a bad situation.
If something does happen and you find yourself facing accusations, an
investigation or even an arrest, do not hesitate to contact us at Bleile
& Dawson. Our Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys focus their practice
on representing individuals facing serious sex crime allegations, and
we have a long track record of success helping people from all walks of life.
(513) 399-5945 or
fill out a form to request a confidential consultation, tell us your side of the story,
and find out how we can help.