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Local Task Force Arrests 61 Suspected Child Predators (Recognize anyone?)

During 2018, the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), which targets Internet based sexual predators, arrested 61 adults who were allegedly using the Internet for the sexual exploitation of children online.

During these undercover operations, those men arrested for the felony offense of Online Solicitation of a Minor, believed they were meeting up with a minor they had previously contacted online.  The purpose of the meeting was to engage in sexual contact at predetermined locations.  Once the suspects arrived at the meeting location, they were arrested.  During the course of these operations, some of the suspects were also charged with other felony offenses as well, if such evidence was discovered during the course of the investigation.

The ICAC Task Force consists of officers from the Conroe Police Department, all five of the Montgomery County Constable’s offices, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Montgomery County ICAC Task Force asks that anyone with information concerning illegal conduct or other potential victims by these suspects or others to call the ICAC Tip Line at 936-760-6910.

District Attorney Brett Ligon said, “Protecting the children of Montgomery County is always my top priority. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is committed to keeping our children safe and we will continue to aggressively pursue those that seek to victimize our children through the Internet.  This will continue to be reflected by the number of those arrested and charged in Montgomery County until the message is heard – We will not tolerate sexual exploitation of our children online in Montgomery County.”

Texas Penal Code § 33.021 Online Solicitation of a Minor

(a) In this section:

(1) “Minor” means:

(A) an individual who is younger than 17 years of age; or

(B) an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 17 years of age.

(2) “Sexual contact,” “sexual intercourse,” and “deviate sexual intercourse” have the meanings assigned by Section 21.01.

(3) “Sexually explicit” means any communication, language, or material, including a photographic or video image, that relates to or describes sexual conduct, as defined by Section 43.25.

(b) A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to commit an offense listed in Article 62.001(5)(A), (B), or (K), Code of Criminal Procedure, the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, intentionally:

(1) communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor; or

(2) distributes sexually explicit material to a minor.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person.

(d) It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection (c) that the meeting did not occur.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time conduct described by Subsection (c) was committed:

(1) the actor was married to the minor; or

(2) the actor was not more than three years older than the minor and the minor consented to the conduct.

(f) An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the minor is younger than 14 years of age or is an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense. An offense under Subsection (c) is a felony of the second degree.

(g) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

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