Is it legal to meet a teenager whom you meet online for a movie or food in a public place if you are 30 years old?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to meet a teenager whom you meet online for a movie or food in a public place if you are 30 years old?

I was browsing chat rooms and started talking to a girl who turned out to be 14. That was 3-4 months ago. For some reason we kept in touch and now she wants to meet to see a movie or grab some food. Would it be legal for me to meet her? I have absolutely no other intentions, but she mentioned that her parents died and she lives with her grandparents. So I feel compelled to do something nice for her, but I am worried how it may look so I am seeking a legal advice.

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Is it *legal* to simply meet a teenager? Arguably or technically yes, though this is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. If the girl has the wrong idea, the grandparents form the wrong impression, or even some other third party gets the wrong idea (e.g. someone who sees you with her at the movie, food court, etc. and calls the police), you could find yourself arrested or prosecuted for sexual abuse. The consequences of that would be devasting and even if your intentions are pure, the likelihood of a misunderstanding and the difficulty of exonerating yourself are immense. Any suggestion, even the faintest, of impropriety could bring the full weight of the legal system down on you...and don't forget, this "girl," could be a 30-year old cop conducting a sting.

If you want to help teenagers, there are many organizations or charities you can volunteer time or donate money to in a safe and structured way. That the way to give vent to charitable impulses.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption