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Free Speech, Online Sexual Corruption and Luring of a Minor

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by: Ryan • March 25, 2011 • no comments

At the height of the "To Catch a Predator" hysteria, the Oregon legislature passed two statutes that sought to explicitly prohibit the kind of behavior that was at the dark heart of the show. One was Online Sexual Corruption and the other was Luring of a Minor.

The crime of Luring of a Minor has been found unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit. Powell's Books, Inc. v. Kroger, 622 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. Or. 2010). A 9th Circuit decision might not be binding on Oregon courts, but I imagine it has stopped prosecutors from charging Luring. If not, I would be curious to hear where and when that charge is being brought.

That leaves Online Sexual Corruption, which can be charged in either the first or the second degree. Back in 2008, I wrote a demurrer to the charge that was limited to online sexual corruption in the second degree because that is all the defendant was charged with. Looking back on it now (which is always a bit painful), it has some unsurprising similarities to the argument that the current child porn statute in Oregon is unconstitutional.

I have not compared the 9th Circuit opinion on Luring to the Online Sexual Corruption charge, so I don't know if that argument would have any potential application.

Anyway, if anyone out there has been charged - or has a client charged - with this offense, take a [look at this motion]. Please update accordingly. And remember, it has been written with the focus on the 2nd degree. A first degree challenge will require re-writing.