Entrapment and misrepresentation of age.

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Entrapment and misrepresentation of age.

I am in my 40s and have begun dating women in their 20s through an online sex site. If a woman represents she is 25 online, but turns out to be 17 when we meet, can I be arrested? Is this entrapment? Do police use these sites to “set people up” and would that be legal? Thanks for your help.

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

James White / Legacy Legal, PLLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is illegal to knowingly engage in "explicit" talk with a minor (anyone under the age of 18).  You need to take care with your "chat" and make some effort to ascertain the woman's true age.  I think you've seen enough press stories of the police "setting people up" to know that they do so and that it is legal.  It is not entrapment to afford someone an opportunity to commit a crime.  Better that the person commit the crime with undercover cops then real minors.  If you meet the person ask to see id.  If you meet for drinks then they'll have to show their id without you even having to ask.

At your sevice,

James J. White


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