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Charged With Attempting To Engage Minor in Sex

sex-crimes-2_180x120A 28-year-old Canadian who told who he thought was a 15-year-old boy that he was new in town from Canada is now new in the Palm Beach County Jail.

Jonathan R. Vanstone, of Wellington, faces a federal charge of attempted enticement or inducement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

Through the Internet application Grindr, Vanstone messaged an undercover law enforcement officer acting as a 15-year-old boy on four different occasions, according to agents with Homeland Security Investigations.

On March 13, the officer responded for the first time to Vanstone’s messages who was using a screen name “Here’s Johnny,” according to a federal criminal complaint.

The profile used by the officer was of a pretend 15-year-old boy. The profile’s main picture was of a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy when he was 15. (full story, source)

The internet has become the tool of the sexual predators that prey upon minors under the age of 18. Congress has enacted laws that are designed to punish this type of illegal sexual conduct. Title 18 United States Code §2422 makes it a federal crime to use the internet to knowingly persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. It is also a crime to use the internet to attempt to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Committing this offense carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in jail to life.

Florida Statute 847.0135

Computer pornography; prohibited computer usage; traveling to meet minor; penalties.—

(1)SHORT TITLE.—This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act.”

(2)COMPUTER PORNOGRAPHY.—A person who:

(a)Knowingly compiles, enters into, or transmits by use of computer;

(b)Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computerized means;

(c)Knowingly causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by use of computer; or

(d)Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates,

any notice, statement, or advertisement of any minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for purposes of facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting sexual conduct of or with any minor, or the visual depiction of such conduct, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection and investigation of an offense under this section shall not constitute a defense to a prosecution under this section.

(3)CERTAIN USES OF COMPUTER SERVICES OR DEVICES PROHIBITED.—Any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to:

(a)Seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child or another person believed by the person to be a child, to commit any illegal act described in chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, or to otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed by the person to be a child; or

(b)Solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to solicit, lure, or entice a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child to consent to the participation of such child in any act described in chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, or to otherwise engage in any sexual conduct, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any person who, in violating this subsection, misrepresents his or her age, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each separate use of a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission wherein an offense described in this section is committed may be charged as a separate offense (source).

If you or someone you know is under investigation for committing an Internet sex crime, you need an experienced criminal attorney to represent you.

West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

West Palm Beach lawyer Andrew Stine focuses exclusively on criminal defense cases and has an exceptional track record of results spanning the last ten years. A former public defender and medic for the U.S. Army, Mr. Stine is known for being proactive. He represents his clients aggressively, armed with individual attention and a passionate respect for their rights to due process.

When you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation and your job may be at stake. Be certain of your attorney’s competence, reputation, expertise and experience as a Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Many attorneys choose not to get involved in a criminal case until the defendant has been formally charged with a crime. Mr. Stine’s philosophy is the opposite. His experience has proven that there is no substitute for early intervention, which gives his clients a head-start on the prosecution. This gives the lawyer more time to:

  • Conduct investigations
  • Interview witnesses
  • Research all legal options

The Office of the State Attorney in each Florida Judicial District employs “charging lawyers” whom determine the appropriate crime to charge. Lawyer Andrew Stine believes that it is imperative for the charging attorney to know who you really are and to show that you are much more than what the law enforcement agent or victim makes you out to be. That philosophy, along with Mr. Stine’s high level of trial preparation and creative defense strategies, has established an unprecedented track record of success for his clients.

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