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Enticing a Child Under 16

Under MGL c. 265 s. 26(C)(b), it is a felony for a person to entice a child under the age of 16, or someone he believes to be a child under the age of 16, to enter, exit or remain within any place with the intent that he or another person commit an illegal act against that person. The maximum penalty for this offense is up to five years in state prison, and mandatory registration with SORB.

The most common application of this charge arises in the case where a person attempts to lure a person under the age of 16 to have sex. If the television show "To Catch a Predator" occurred in Massachusetts, the offenders would likely be facing this particular criminal charge.

However, there a number of defenses to this charge that may be applicable depending on the specific facts of each case. For example, in order to charge you with this offense, the government must prove that you did more than just have a sexually explicit conversation with a minor. Even if you conversed in a chat room, or texted the minor (or person you thought was a minor) about have inappropriate sexual relations with that person, at that point the conversation can be chalked up to discussing mere fantasies, and it is not enough to convict you. However, once you take the extra steps to act on your conversation, such as taking the train to meet the person after discussing plans to engage in illegal sexual conduct, you've crossed the line from fantasy to demonstrating your intent to act on your plan.

If you have been charged with Enticing a child under 16 or any other Massachusetts criminal offense, contact my office immediately:

(617) 830- 2188

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