Our client was staying in Atlanta for business and was arrested after meeting someone on an adult hook-up site who he initially believed was an adult.
He was using a hook-up app called Pure which is a subscription service for adults looking to find casual sex partners. There is a monthly subscription fee that is required to even use the app. It’s clearly not a place where you would expect to find a minor and Pure expressly prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using it.
Our client went onto the app to find someone to hook-up with while in Atlanta. He started speaking with a girl who clearly appeared to be an adult. They talked about having sex and exchanged naked pictures. The girl agreed to have our client send an Uber to pick her up and bring her back to his hotel. However, when the Uber arrived at her house, she said “I can’t, I’m a minor my parents will kill me.” It turns out that she was 16 years old but she never stated her actual age to our client.
Her parents found the text messages and contacted the police. The next day, a police officer posing as the girl reached out to our client to try to get him to come over to her house. After discussing sex and sending a naked picture to the officer, our client agreed to go there. When he arrived, he was immediately arrested by the officer.
Fortunately, when the police extracted the text messages from the girl’s cell phone, they also extracted every text message that was on her phone. Her message history showed that she was engaged in at least 4 or 5 other conversations with men from Pure at the same time she was speaking with our client. She was lying to them about her age, saying she was a pre-med student in college. In other messages, she was even bragging to her friends about the older men she was meeting on Pure.
Under Georgia law, it would have been legal for our client to have sex with a 16-year-old, however, it would be illegal for him to send or receive certain types of naked pictures with someone under the age of 18. We were able to show that, at the time the initial images were sent, our client was of the belief that the girl was at least 18 years of age due to the fact that she was using Pure. It was only after the pictures were sent that she disclosed to him that she was “a minor.”
Also, the express language of the statute requires that the person actually be a minor. So, sending the naked picture to the police officer, who was posing as the minor, is not a violation of the statute. Therefore, we were able to prove to the prosecutors that our client’s conduct was not in violation of Georgia law.
As a result, we were able to convince the District Attorney’s office to dismiss our client’s case and the records of his arrest will be expunged.
Categories | Internet Sting Cases,