Houston, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/10/2014 -- The 21 men arrested by the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) division on June 3 represent a handful of child predators known in the Houston area to solicit sexual contact from children online.
For the past few months, the Montgomery County ICAC task force has been planning the sting operation, which led the offenders to believe they would be meeting a child they contacted online for a sexual encounter.
When the men arrived to meet the “child” they were promptly met and arrested by members of the ICAC division, not the underage prey they were hoping to meet up with.
Texas laws pertaining to the prosecution and defense of online solicitation of a minor charges have been altered so that the accused cannot claim they never intended to follow through with the invitations. Read more about online solicitation of a minor charges and Texas penal code here: http://www.houstoncriminaldefenselawyers.com/online-solicitation-minor-texas/.
Online solicitation of a minor in the state of Texas is a third degree felony. However the charges are heightened to a second-degree felony if the child is under 14 or is believed to be under 14 at the time of contact; or if the alleged predator is soliciting sexual contact with the minor.
In 1998, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force program under the Justice Appropriations Act (Public Law 105-119). The ICAC program is currently comprised of 61 local, state, and federal task force programs.
The ICAC task forces work cohesively to stop the online victimization of children, aid in victim recovery, and prosecute online child pornography and predatory crimes against children. Since its inception in 1998, ICAC task force investigations have led to 30,000 arrests for Internet & sexual crimes against children.