CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether evidence was sufficient to sustain conviction of soliciting a juvenile through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct?

Defendant was convicted of soliciting a juvenile through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct.  This is the typical case that you see on 60 Minutes –a sting operation.  Law enforcement, or 60 Minutes, place an ad to lure an adult to engage with a person, a minor, for the purpose of meeting that person and having sex with them.  The person on the other end is a police officer.  The parties typically exchanged a series of text messages.  Sometimes they exchange photos.  The fake persona intitially says they are an adult.  Later, they confess they are about 15 years old, making any sexual behavior a felony.  The solicitor typically proceeds forward even after the underage revelation.  They parties then make an appointment to meet.  When the defendant arrives at the scene, he is arrested for exchanging texts with what he believes to be a minor for the purpose of sexual relations.  It is a very serious felony, with permanent life altering consequences.  The courts have consistently held that the actions of the State actors are not entrapment.  Entrapment is an affirmative defense.  In the instant case, the defendant appealed his conviction.  Defendant argued that (1) the evidence was insufficient; and (2) the jury erred in rejecting his entrapment defense.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant reasonably believed the person he solicited and agreed to hire was 15 years old.  Further, the Court of Appeals held that there was no evidence that the State induced defendant to solicit and hire the poster.  Conviction was affirmed.

State v. Ineh, A20-0005, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

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