Oklahoma has a number of laws to protect children from inappropriate sexual conduct and exploitation. One such law specifically targets a lewd and indecent proposal in Oklahoma made to children under the age of 16. Here is what you need to know.
Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts To a Child Under 16
This law is one of a number of laws that allow prosecutors a great deal of leeway when charging and prosecuting crimes of child sexual abuse. This statute comes under Oklahoma laws on rape and child seduction. And it is a felony.
Knowingly and intentionally engaging in any sort of lewd or indecent act with a child, or making any sort of lewd or indecent proposal to a child under the age of 16 or believed to be under the age of 16, is against the law. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
The statute allows prosecution for both the indecent proposal and for the act.
The law prohibits sexual communications by an adult with a child under 16 or believed to be under that age. This includes communication by telephone, cell phone or apps, texting, computer chat rooms, and in-person communication. It includes written communications, the sending of lewd photographs, and “sexting.” It includes any communication of a sexual nature or made to entice a child into sexual activity.
This sexual activity includes forcing a child to view any sort of pornography, urinating or defecating on the child, and exposing oneself sexually to a child.
Physical contact with the child is not required for a conviction. The sexual nature of the exchange is all that is required.
Sexual acts are also prohibited. This includes touching, mauling, or lasciviously looking upon the private parts of a child, engaging in any sort of sexual activity with a child, or enticing a child to a private place with the intention of doing any of these acts. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
An adult is defined as a person who is at least three years older than the victim. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
Thus, two young teens are treated differently under the law than is an adult with a young teen or child.
Penalties Are Severe
A conviction can mean a prison term from three to 20 years if the child is under 16, and at least 25 years if the child is under 12. A subsequent conviction could mean a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
And because this is a sexual crime, a conviction will require a defendant to register with the sex offender registry once a defendant is released.
If you are facing charges for making a lewd or indecent proposal to a minor, you will need the help of an experienced criminal lawyer in Creek County. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong defense.
Defenses may be available to you. First and foremost, the act or proposition must be made knowingly and intentionally. You either know that the child is under 16, or reasonably believe that to be true. And the communication must be intentional. If the communication was accidental or accidentally sent, you may have a defense.
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