Enticing a Minor
Utah Code Section: 76-4-401
A person commits enticement of a minor when
the person knowingly uses the Internet or text messaging to:
(1) Solicit, seduce, lure, or entice a minor, or to attempt to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice a minor, or another person that the actor believes to be a minor, to engage in any sexual activity
which is a violation of state criminal law.
(2) initiate contact with a minor or a person the actor believes to be a minor by any electronic or written means, solicits, seduces, lures, or entices, or attempts to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice the minor or a person the actor believes to be the minor to engage in any sexual activity which is a violation of state criminal law.
Sex Offender Registration
Persons convicted of enticing a minor are required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives, if the conviction is a felony. There is no possibility of removal from the register, and if the person moves states, the person is required to register in their new state.
UCA 77-41-106. However, if the conviction is to a class A misdemeanor, then the Defendant is required to register for a period of 10 years after the completion of his/her sentence.
Jail/Prison time, fines & restitution
Enticement of a minor under Subsection is punishable as follows:
(a)enticement to engage in sexual activity which would be a first degree felony for the actor is a:
(i)second degree felony upon the first conviction for violation of this Subsection (4)(a); and
(ii)first degree felony punishable by imprisonment for an indeterminate term of not fewer than three years and which may be for life, upon a second or any subsequent conviction for a violation of this Subsection (4)(a);
(b)enticement to engage in sexual activity which would be a second degree felony for the actor is a third degree felony;
(c)enticement to engage in sexual activity which would be a third degree felony for the actor is a class A misdemeanor;
(d)enticement to engage in sexual activity which would be a class A misdemeanor for the actor is a class B misdemeanor; and
(e)enticement to engage in sexual activity which would be a class B misdemeanor for the actor is a class C misdemeanor.
(5)(a)When a person who commits a felony violation of this section has been previously convicted of an offense under Subsection (5)(b), the court may not in any way shorten the prison sentence, and the court may not:
(ii)suspend the execution or imposition of the sentence;
(iii)enter a judgment for a lower category of offense; or
Defending an Enticement of a Minor case
It is not a defense to the crime of enticing a minor, or an attempt to commit this offense, that a law enforcement officer or an undercover operative who is working with a law enforcement agency was involved in the detection or investigation of the offense.
However, defenses do exist and can be effective, depending on the facts of the case. The first defense is to argue that the prosecution failed to establish that the defendant believed the alleged victim was underage. In the absence of text messages or emails in which the defendant acknowledges the age of the victim, it is difficult for the prosecution to establish that the defendant knew the victim was underage.
Second, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was soliciting the underage alleged victim to engage in sexual activity. The prosecution needs references to specific sexual acts in order to obtain a conviction.
It is common in enticing cases that the alleged victim is an undercover officer. Entrapment is a potential defense in these circumstances. Entrapment occurs when a police officer uses methods creating a substantial risk that the offense would be committed by one not otherwise ready to commit it. The entire entrapment statute is below:
76-2-303 Entrapment. (1) It is a defense that the actor was entrapped into committing the offense. Entrapment occurs when a peace officer or a person directed by or acting in cooperation with the officer induces the commission of an offense in order to obtain evidence of the commission for prosecution by methods creating a substantial risk that the offense would be committed by one not otherwise ready to commit it. Conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense does not constitute entrapment. (2) The defense of entrapment shall be unavailable when causing or threatening bodily injury is an element of the offense charged and the prosecution is based on conduct causing or threatening the injury to a person other than the person perpetrating the entrapment. (3) The defense provided by this section is available even though the actor denies commission of the conduct charged to constitute the offense. (4) Upon written motion of the defendant, the court shall hear evidence on the issue and shall determine as a matter of fact and law whether the defendant was entrapped to commit the offense. Defendant's motion shall be made at least 10 days before trial except the court for good cause shown may permit a later filing. (5) Should the court determine that the defendant was entrapped, it shall dismiss the case with prejudice, but if the court determines the defendant was not entrapped, such issue may be presented by the defendant to the jury at trial. Any order by the court dismissing a case based on entrapment shall be appealable by the state. (6) In any hearing before a judge or jury where the defense of entrapment is an issue, past offenses of the defendant shall not be admitted except that in a trial where the defendant testifies he may be asked of his past convictions for felonies and any testimony given by the defendant at a hearing on entrapment may be used to impeach his testimony at trial.