Under Georgia law, enticing a child for indecent purposes is defined as soliciting, enticing, or taking a child under the age of 16 years to any place for the purpose of molesting the child or committing indecent acts. Actual sexual contact with the child is not required in order to be charged with this offense. We will often encounter these charges in cases where a child alleges that our client took them somewhere (to a house, in a car, etc.) to engage in sexual conduct.
In order to establish a violation of this statute, the State must show a joint operation of the act of enticing a child and the intention to commit acts of indecency or child molestation. The offense also includes the element of asportation which means that the State must prove that the taking involved physical force, enticement, or persuasion.
For example, in Bragg v. State, 217 Ga. App. 342; 457 S.E.2d 262 (1995), the Georgia Court of Appeals held that the State failed to establish the asportation element and, therefore, failed to prove an enticement offense. In Bragg, the indictment alleged that the defendant enticed children to a certain room of the house for the purpose of showing a pornographic film. The evidence at trial established that the defendant did show a pornographic film to the children but there was no evidence as to how the children came to be in the room and in front of the television. Thus, if the children already happened to be in the room at the time the defendant played the film, then there would have been no movement of the children for the specific purpose of exposing them to the pornography.
The Court of Appeals held that “[t]he concept of asportation relates to movement and there is no evidence that defendant caused the children to move towards the place from which they would view the movies. Therefore, we hold that there was no evidence authorizing defendant’s convictions on the two counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes.”
Federal law prohibits the use of the internet or a telephone to entice a child to engage in any sexual activity. These are separate statutes and they provide for an enhanced penalty, with a mandatory minimum sentence, for cases involving the use of the internet. These are also the statutes that are used when federal agents pose as children to try to lure people into committing these offenses. For more information on these cases, see Computer Exploitation Offenses.