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Prosecution Stopped on Charges of Child Pornography and Soliciting a Child for Immoral Purposes
Michigan law makes it illegal to communicate with a child for what’s called “immoral purposes.” This law can be used to cover what is commonly known as sexting. If someone sends messages to a minor asking him or her to have sexual relations, the person who sends the message can be charged with MCL 750.145a. If found guilty of soliciting or accosting a child for immoral purposes, Michigan law provides a felony punishment of up to four years in prison or a fine of up to $4,000.00, or both.
This, along with potential child pornography charges, is what a recent client of the Barone Defense Firm was facing. The client’s mother contacted the Barone Defense Firm searching for the best sex crimes defense attorney she could find. Associate Attorney and Intake Specialist, Ryan Ballard, spoke with her promptly after she called the firm and assessed the situation. It was clear that the family needed help. They were scared and didn’t know what to do. No charges had been filed at the time they contacted the Firm, but a detective investigating the situation was calling them constantly to get a statement. The allegations were that our client had knowingly enticed a minor to send sexual images to the client and that the client had solicited the minor for a sexual encounter; neither of which were true. The client had understood that the case was pending with the prosecuting attorney office and that criminal charges would be forthcoming.
The family made a smart decision retaining qualified counsel before making a statement to the police. In these situations, the experienced child pornography, criminal sexual conduct, and sex crimes defense attorney at the Barone Defense Firm can more effectively defend a case when being retained before a statement has been made to the police.
After careful consideration and listening to Ryan Ballard’s assessment of the situation, Patrick Barone was retained on the case. The family was immediately advised not to have any communication with law enforcement. Patrick Barone, who has been a criminal defense attorney for more than 30 years, took a proactive approach to this sex crimes case by reaching out to the detective right away. Mr. Barone took note of what the detective thought was going on in this case and what evidence there might be. Mr. Barone also quickly conducted lengthy meetings with his client and the client’s family. These meetings included reviewing all communications between his client and the alleged victim in the case.
Throughout Mr. Barone’s investigation of this case, it became clear that things were blown way out of proportion. Mr. Barone had more conversations with the detective on the case. Through these communications, Mr. Barone was able to show and convince the detective that the other party was the aggressor in the situation; that his client did not have immoral purposes; and that the other party lied about her age.
Mr. Barone successfully navigated this very sensitive situation and avoided felony sex crimes charges from being filed for this client. Even when not true, the mere filing of charges so serious can be a public, life-altering, humiliating experience. Through expedient work and effective legal counsel, the best outcome can be achieved in these cases.