Sex offenses are among the most vilified crimes in American law books, particularly those that involve minors. Often, those accused of soliciting sex from a minor are vilified and hated even before they step into the courtroom, as their name, address and the crime they are accused of is publicized as soon as they are arrested.
The negative public reaction to sex crimes comes with good reason — they are, after all, extremely serious offenses — but it can be problematic in many cases. Justice requires a nonbiased, impartial jury, and a negative reaction in the “court of public opinion” can make it difficult to ensure justice is carried out correctly.
These are issues likely facing a 26-year-old Raleigh man who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly committing a sex crime. Police say he solicited sex from a minor over the Internet. According to authorities, the minor in question was under the age of 16.
The man was caught during a large scale police investigation that involved several law enforcement agencies. The investigation was under the direction of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, that coordinates the actions of 135 law enforcement officials and prosecutors. The State Bureau of Investigations is the main law enforcement entity in the task force.
There is still a great deal we do not know about the Raleigh man, including the details of his alleged crime and the methods the police used to investigate him. Given this relative dearth of information, it is important that the public take care to withhold judgment over him until the justice system has had an opportunity to determine the truth.
Source: News Observer, “Raleigh man arrested in online solicitation of minor” No Author Given, Sep. 07, 2013