Federal Sex Crimes

Federal Criminal Lawyer: Sex Crime Defense

Sex crimes such as rape, soliciting minors, or committing lewd acts with minors are often prosecuted by the state district attorneys in Oklahoma. However, there are a number of sex crimes over which the federal government and U.S. attorneys take jurisdiction. Often, these crimes involve offenses that cross state lines, whether physically transporting a minor across Oklahoma's borders for illegal sex or virtually distributing child pornography through online file sharing.

Federal sex crimes include:

  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Child pornography
  • Computer sex crimes
  • Sex trafficking
  • Kidnapping in order to commit a sex crime
  • Sex crimes that result in death
  • Sex tourism
  • And more

Often, federal sex crimes are the result of a long and thorough investigation by a specialized federal agency. The FBI and the United States Department of Justice work together with other law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups to develop focused task forces and initiatives investigating and prosecuting specific types of sex crimes.

Whether you are arrested as a result of a nationwide sweep or an individual investigation, being indicted by a federal grand jury and tried in one of the three United States District Courts of Oklahoma is a serious undertaking best handled with skillful representation from a federal criminal lawyer experienced at representing defendants in challenging federal sex crime cases. Your attorney must be knowledgeable of the laws of the United States Code and not just the Oklahoma statutes.

In a federal case, the penalties are often more severe than those associated with the same or similar offense in state court. Often, a defendant may be charged in federal court with one or more offense and in state court with related offenses. Having one attorney equipped to handle both cases can streamline your efforts at finding efficient legal counsel and effective defense.

Federal Sex Crime Task Forces and Initiatives

Internet sex crimes against children, child sexual exploitation, child pornography, and sex trafficking are among the sex offenses that the federal government pursues with an intensive focus on elimination, rescue, and prosecution.

In a 2010 report to Congress, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) identified several agencies, task forces, programs, and national initiatives in place to stop the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. In "The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction," the DOJ lists agencies including the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG), FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorneys Offices, the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and the Office of International Affairs (OIA), the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and the Office of Legal Policy (OLP) among those with divisions, programs, and initiatives dedicated to combating sex crimes against children.

Some of the leading programs and initiatives include the following:

  • Innocent Images National Initiative - an FBI initiative that addresses child pornography and online sexual exploitation of children
  • Endangered Child Alert Program - an FBI, CEOS, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) initiative that seeks to identify offenders partially visible in child pornography images. The agencies will seek a John Doe or Jane Doe warrant and post the image on the FBI website. If the offender is not identified within two weeks, the image is released to the media and featured on programs and outlets including America's Most Wanted, the O'Reilly Factor, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and AOL.
  • Operation Rescue Me - a sister intiative to the Endangered Child Alert Program in which law enforcement attempts to identify and rescue victims of child pornography
  • Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) - the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs is charged with the oversight of local ICAC task forces comprised of specially trained federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who investigate internet sex crimes against children, including solicitation of minors and child pornography.
  • Innocence Lost National Initiative - the FBI, CEOS, and NCMEC work together to address domestic child sex trafficking. Through the initiative, including seven iterations of Operation Clean Sweep, the FBI claims it has rescued 2,700 children from sex trafficking and child prostitution and convicted more than 1,300 people accused of trafficking in children.
  • Operation Predator - a Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program to investigate and arrest those who possess, distribute, or produce child pornography; those who travel abroad for child sex tourism; and those who traffic in children
  • Project Safe Childhood - The United States Attorney's Offices coordinate with the FBI, CEOS, ICAC task forces, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service, the NCMEC, and state and local law enforcement to ramp up investigation and increase prosecution of technology-assisted child sexual exploitation crimes.

Federal Sex Offender Registration

Federal sex offender laws define who must register as a sex offender, how states must comply with sex offender registration and notification requirements, and the restrictions placed on sex offenders. The primary legislation dealing with sex offender registration follow:

Registered sex offenders are listed on both state and federal websites. The U.S. Department of Justice's Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website provides information about sex offenders across the nation. The FBI Sex Offender Registry provides links to state specific sex offender registries.

Federal Sex Crime Defense Attorneys

Being arrested for a sex crime is challenging in any situation, but facing federal criminal charges requires knowledgeable legal counsel and aggressive defense representation. Call the Law Firm of Oklahoma at (405) 608-4990 to learn more.

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