Georgia Law Explained: Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes
Welcome back to our discussion of sex crimes under Georgia law, and how the concept of negligence per se can help survivors win compensation in civil court.
This week, we’ll talk about the OCGA 16-6-5, which forbids enticing a child for indecent purposes.
What Does It Mean to Entice a Child for Indecent Purposes?
For the purposes of OCGA 16-6-5, a “child” means any person under the age of 16, “enticing” means forcing or persuading that child to go to a certain location, and “indecent” encompasses the same wide range of sexual acts covered by child molestation.
(a) A person commits the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes when he or she solicits, entices, or takes any child under the age of 16 years to any place whatsoever for the purpose of child molestation or indecent acts.
For example, inviting a child into a car or home, or making arrangements to meet the child somewhere else, would count as violations of 16-6-5 if done with any form of sexual intent. It doesn’t matter whether there are threats or bribes involved, or whether the child agrees readily.
The perpetrator’s intentions don’t necessarily have to include direct sexual contact with the child. Interactions without physical contact, such as exposing oneself or sharing pornography, can still count as indecent. There’s also no need for an indecent act to have actually occurred; the attempt alone is enough to violate 16-6-5.
What a conviction under this statute does require is evidence of sexual intent, and evidence that the child was at some point in a different physical location than they would have been without the perpetrator’s interference.
Consequences of Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes
Violating OCGA 16-6-5 carries a prison sentence of 10-30 years.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years. Any person convicted under this Code section of the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.
The mandatory minimum sentence cannot be reduced, regardless of whether the perpetrator is a first-time offender or not.
Like other sex crimes related to the age of consent, there is some consideration for consensual interactions between teenagers. If the victim is over 14 and the perpetrator is under 18, a violation of 16-6-5 is a misdemeanor and not subject to the mandatory adult sentencing for sex crimes.
(c) If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall not be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.
What Damages Can You Recover as a Survivor of Enticement for Indecent Purposes?
OCGA 16-6-5 exists to protect young people from physical and psychological harm, so breaking it is grounds for criminal AND civil liability. If someone has been or will be convicted for this offense because of their behavior toward you, that person is liable for any harm they’ve caused you. Criminal proceedings do not include victim compensation, so you’ll need to file a separate civil suit. The damages you can sue for will be divided into two categories: special and general.
Special Damages Are Literal Costs You Want Reimbursed
Being a survivor of childhood sexual trauma is expensive. Both immediately and long after the incident in question, you’ll likely face financial hurdles. Sometimes these financial losses stem from social stigma and prejudice, and sometimes they’re simply the result of needing time and care to recover. These losses include lost wages, lost career opportunities, and out of pocket money. You have the right to reimbursement for these losses. However, without knowing exactly how your life would have gone if not for the perpetrator’s actions, tallying up these losses can be challenging. You’ll need to compile a thorough record of the damage to your finances and then prove that this damage was the direct or proximate result of the crime against you. The Wetherington Law Firm can help with that. To learn more about direct and proximate cause and how we can establish them in court, click here.
General Damages Are Emotional Wounds You Want Compensation For
Sexual trauma obviously causes far more harm than simple accounting can accurately reflect. Most of the effects of your experience can’t be erased with money, but they do deserve to be acknowledged, and money is the best tool the law has for doing that. A general damages settlement goes beyond the dollar-for-dollar reimbursement of special damages and assigns value to your pain, your ongoing symptoms, and any other effects that have detracted from your quality of life in a non-financial way. These values will always be symbolic and imperfect, but a good lawyer can help prevent your suffering from being brushed off lightly, ensuring you a settlement that makes a difference in your life and offers some sense of justice.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
As mentioned above, working with a talented lawyer can make a big difference to the thoroughness of your compensation. At the Wetherington Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience to take a full inventory of your financial losses, establish their cause, and explain the gravity of your emotional losses in terms judges and juries respect. We’ll also work with you to make the process as simple and painless as possible. We understand that pursuing justice as the survivor of a sex crime can be intimidating and retraumatizing, because it involves revisiting your trauma in an adversarial situation where your account of events will be questioned. When you work with us, you have an advocate who’s completely on your side every step of the way, to speak on your behalf and shield you from uncomfortable situations as much as possible while getting you the results you deserve.
How to Hire the Best Lawyers for Sex Crime Survivors in Atlanta
Our only concern when selecting clients is the merit of their cases. Your ability to pay should not factor into your access to the justice system, and it will not factor into your relationship with us. Once we take your case, we’ll fight for you to the best of our abilities for as long as it takes, with no upfront or ongoing fees of any kind.
Only once we get you your settlement do we accept payment, and then only as a percentage. We believe our job is to help repair the damage done to your quality of life, and we can’t do that if the compensation we win for you goes straight to legal costs.
To talk to a lawyer today about your case and what we can do to help, just give us a call at 404-888-4444.
The Wetherington Law Firm Supports Clients Who Fight for a Fairer World
If you want your case to be about more than just your own losses, you’ve come to the right place. We’re happy to win fair compensation for survivors one case at a time, but we also love pursuing ambitious cases that can help people on a larger scale. If what happened to you was enabled by a problematic system or organization, we’ll help you use your case to drive change and prevent others from being victimized in the future. To learn about what we’ve helped clients achieve for the greater good, just reach out and ask!