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Internet Sex Crimes
CyberSex Crimes

Van Wagner & Wood
Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorneys

Two decades ago, terms such as cyberchats, cybersex, cyber stings or Internet stings, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyberterroism, cybertheft, cyberauction fraud, computer intrusion, password trafficking, Internet fraud, Internet harassment, Internet bomb threats, and pixelated death crimes were unheard of. Today, those terms are commonplace. There are some 93 million web pages devoted to cyber crime topics, sites ranging from how to report cyber crimes (through the IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Center,, to how to commit Internet crimes. As the number of cybercrime and death gaming websites have increased, the violent and firearm crime rate has declined nationwide. (See FBI report on violent crimes in the United States).

Wisconsin Internet Laws

Below are some of Wisconsin's laws governing crimes on the Internet.

Wisconsin Statute 943.07 Transfer of Recorded Sounds for unlawful use. Wis Stat 9436.207(3m)(a)2 provides that any person who transfers sounds on or to the Internet consisting of fewer than 1,000 recordings or advertises, offers for sale or rent, sells, rents, possesses or transports fewer than 1,000 recordings during a 180-day period, provided the sounds are never replayed or are replayed by others from the Internet fewer than 1,000 times during a 180-day period, and the value of the transferred sounds does not exceed $2,5000 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

If the value of the recordings exceeds $2,500, then the person is guilty of a Class I felony.

If the sounds are replayed by others from the Internet at least 1,000 times during a 180-day period, then the charge is a Class H felony.

Wisconsin Statue 948.07 Crimes Against Children; child enticement; provides that any person, with intent to commit sexual conduct or sexual intercourse with the child, prostitution of the child, exposure of sex organs to the child or causing a child to expose a sex organ, recording the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct, causing bodily or mental harm to the child, giving or selling to the child a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, causes or attempts to cause any child who has not attained the age of 18 years to go into any vehicle, building, room or secluded place is guilty of a Class D felony.

In State v. Robins, 2002 WI 65, 253 Wis. 2d 298, 647 N.W.2d 287, the court held, "Attempted child enticement may be charged when the intervening extraneous factor that makes the offense an attempted rather than completed crime is that unbeknownst to the defendant, the "victim" is an adult government agent posing as a child. The 1st amendment is not implicated by the application of the child enticement statute to child enticements initiated over the Internet as the statute regulates conduct, not speech."

FBI Cybersex Crackdown

Since 2004, the FBI has operated a Cyber Crime Task Force with initiatives aimed at cyberfraud and Internet identity theft. The task force has learned that the majority of cybercrime stems from fraudulent business offers from India, while the majority of cybersex sites are run by residents of the Philippines, Greece, Germany, and Australia.

In Wisconsin, nearly half of all reported Internet crime resulted from auction fraud (via auction solitication spam mail and websites), 1% from reported but unconfirmed child porn sites, and less than 1% from chatrooms, e-mail solitications, and cybersex websites combined. Recently, Wisconsin police have devoted federal Internet crime funds to Internet stings focused on cybersex and chatrooms.

Wisconsin Internet Stings - Child Enticement On Internet

The recent rash of Internet stings in Wisconsin, conducted by various police departments, introduces a trap - otherwise known as a young girl looking for company - in a chatroom, and lures the unsuspecting young males into a personal meeting with the provocative assumedly 14-year old girl after several hours over many days of chatting online. According to media reports, the undercover agent is a seasoned male police officer. The tone of the conversation is nothing short of "enticing erotica", Attorney Chris Van Wagner charged after reading just one transcript from a sting.

"In my 25 years as a [criminal] defense attorney, I've never seen methods quite like this used ever before," Attorney Chris Van Wagner said. "We're fully exploring all potential defenses to the charges, including entrapment and outrageous government conduct."

Who Gets Stung?

Studies show that the majority of arrests resulting from Internet stings fashioned in a manner similar to those being conducted in Wisconsin (with an intent to nab sexual predators who are enticing children for the purpose of sexual assault upon a minor child or consented sexual intercourse with a minor) are of white thirty-something year old home-owning males with incomes of at least $73,000 per year. Interestingly enough, according to the PEW standard report, that is the exact same profile of the most frequent user of the Internet and the source of the majority of Internet commerce. Consequently, and perhaps expectedly, stings like these conducted elsewhere also did not hit the target to arrest sex offenders.

Internet Crime Statistics

In 2006, IC3 processed a total of 2,897 complaints from Wisconsin Internet users. In 2005, there were 2,963 complaints from Wisconsin.

2006 Top 10 Complaint Categories From Wisconsin Internet Users

Category # of Complaints
Auction Fraud 49.8%
Non Delivery of Merchandise/Payment 17.1%
Check Fraud 5.8%
Computer Fraud 3.4%
Credit Card Fraud 3.3%
Confidence Fraud 2.5%
Identity Theft 1.4%
Financial Institutions Fraud 1.4%
Investment Fraud 1.4%
Child Pornography 1.1%

Of the 2,897 complaints filed, 8% (or 237) involved perpetrators from Wisconsin. The majority of perpetrators within the US were from California, New York, and Florida. More than 2,000 of the initial contacts were via e-mail, 489 via a website, 174 via phone, and the rest were made through chatrooms, physical mail, printed material, and in person.

Van Wagner & Wood
    Computer & Internet Crimes Defense Attorneys

Van Wagner & Wood was one of the first law firms in Wisconsin to use the Internet for client communications, and the firm remains yet today one of the most progressive firms on the web and expert advisors in Internet crime defenses.

Free Initial First-Impression Analysis

The criminal defense attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood are very experienced in defending people who have been charged with a crime or drunk driving, and they are very straightforward with their clients, never sugar coating the true or building a client up only to let them down in the end. For that reason, they prefer to refer to a first initial consultation as a mere first impression analysis because no good criminal defense attorney can even begin to fully digest all of the complexities of a sex crime case in the short and often hurried first meeting. If you would like a straightforward brief and professional opinion about the reality of the state's case against you and how you might prevail, please contact the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood right away.


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Related Information:
Attorney Christopher Van Wagner | Attorney Tracey Wood | Firm Overview
Internet Stings | Sexual Gratification | Child Pornography | Sex Crimes
Felony Charges | Felony Penalties | Misdemeanor Charges | Misdemeanor Penalties
Jury Trials | Appeals | Prior Conviction Challenges

Criminal Defense Attorneys

Van Wagner & Wood is a criminal defense law firm located in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm's address and a link to a map are below. The attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood, Christopher Van Wagner and Tracey Wood, represent people under investigation for a crime or drunk driving offense or people arrested and charged with a crime or DUI throughout Wisconsin and most frequently in the courts in Madison, Monroe, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, Jefferson, Jainesville, Fitchburg, Stevens Point, Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells, Richland Center, Sparta, Prairie du Chien, Marquette, Portage, Friendship, Juneau, Dodgeville, Black River Falls, Lancaster, Mauston, Middleton, Ladysmith, Elkhorn and Wautoma, Wisconsin (a list of the courts where those attorneys most frequently appear is provided below and on the Wisconsin court page). Those attorneys also represent people previously convicted of a crime or drunk driving who want to challenge or directly appeal the conviction or sentence.