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Man in the Midwest accused of federal sex crime in Louisiana

Most people understand that the Internet crosses boundaries between states, and countries. Internet crimes may involve state charges in Louisiana, as well as charges under federal law. Any sex crime allegations may lead to significant consequences. When the feds become involved in a sex offense investigation, the case may go to federal court.

Many constitutional principles may come into play in any criminal case. Internet crimes may involve a large amount of information and forensic evidence from computers or other forms of electronic devices. The issues related to a computer-based criminal case can be complex.

An associate professor from a university in the Midwest has been arrested on suspicion of computer-based sex crimes. Authorities say that the man had moved to the Midwest from Louisiana and has worked at the university since 1988. However, a high school friend of his still lives here in Louisiana. Authorities say that the Monroe, Louisiana, woman found sexually explicit communications on her 15-year-old daughter’s computer late last year.

FBI agents claim that the man asked for topless images of the girl. In late November, federal officials claim that the man sent the girl sexually explicit comments regarding images the girl allegedly had sent to him. Federal officials also believe that the man tried to keep the online conversations private, telling the girl how to set up her computer to avoid detection.

Federal prosecutors say that the girl’s mother confronted her high school friend about the material, but she also went to authorities. Officials believe that the man essentially stopped communicating with the girl after the mother contacted him about finding the messages.

Investigators apparently decided to run a sting against the man. Prosecutors say that law enforcement created a fake Facebook account in February of this year. The fictitious account was set up to appear to be the girl’s account. FBI agents posed as the girl through the fictitious account. Stings are a popular tactic in sex crime probes. A person accused of a crime may have the procedures and evidence analyzed by a criminal defense lawyer who can help in defending against the charges.

The man is now accused of exploitation of a minor and child pornography offenses in federal court. Prosecutors plan to handle the case in Louisiana.

Source: Pioneer Press, “Jurist orders U prof to be transferred to Louisiana in juvenile solicitation case,” David Hanners, March 12, 2014

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