Child Seduction / Incest

Child Seduction & Incest Attorney

Sex crimes involving children are some of the most difficult and troublesome cases.  In particular, child seduction or incest charges can be extremely challenging for the accused because the system is so heavily stacked against them. The Stracci Law Group has extensive experience combating these cases and can level the tilted playing field.

​When an individual is accused of incest or child seduction, social services, and law enforcement officials will often use high-stress, aggressive tactics to develop their case. This begins with the presumption by many within law enforcement, social services, the family, and the community that the child would have no reason to lie and must be telling the truth (coercion). It is often furthered by the coercive power of the State to bully “cooperation” of even the most skeptical of family members by threatening to remove other children from the home and place them in foster care if they contest the actions of the State or show any kind of support for the accused. Additionally, the State typically moves to put No Contact Orders in place to isolate and pressure the accused while insulating the accuser from scrutiny when there is no substantial proof in the case. The leverage employed by the State is often enough to overwhelm the accused and cause them to give up their fight and accept whatever offer the State may make.

​It is important to remember that there are always two sides to every story, and in cases of child seduction or incest, the alleged conduct may never have taken place or may have been initiated by the accuser. False accusations in these types of cases can arise from a variety of unscrupulous motivations that range from the calculated plots of an angry former partner directing a vulnerable approval-seeking child to make false statements about their relationship with the accused to a misguided step-child seeking attention, or a troubled teenager who no longer wants to deal with a particular coach or therapist. Should the conduct have been initiated or pursued by the accuser, the consent or other actions of the child cannot serve as a defense to the charges. However, they can be a mitigating factor that may lessen the sentence you receive. Whatever the reason these types of accusations are made, they can be life-changing and should be met by attorneys experienced in defending against them.

The Stracci Law Group has years of experience defending clients in all types of sex crime matters, including cases involving child seduction or incest.  We are an aggressive legal team who will work to protect your rights even before charges have been filed against you.  Our Lake County sex crimes lawyers are very familiar with the techniques police and social services use – from engaging in leading interviews of the alleged victim and their family or friends (which suggest the answers the interrogators are looking for) to intimidating or tricking suspects into believing that they will receive leniency by cooperating and providing the answers detectives or social services workers are expecting to hear, always without the benefit of legal counsel.

Our lawyers know far too well how these disingenuous/coercive interrogation practices can lead to false and inconsistent testimony and confessions.  It has been our experience that in cases such as these, the suspect often becomes aware of the investigation before charges are filed. This presents a unique opportunity for us to be proactive and begin mounting a defense that can prevent your name from being splashed across the newspaper, your boss from terminating you, and your friends and family from turning their backs on you. This is why it is critical for you to speak with legal counsel as soon as you think you may be under investigation for these types of crimes.  Our legal team will carefully review your situation and work side by side with you to build a custom defense strategy designed to protect your rights and liberties at every stage of the process.

Child Seduction

Under Indiana Code Ann. § 35-42-4-7, the crime of child seduction occurs when a person who is 18 years of age or older engages in any sexual activity (including fondling or touching) with a child who is at least 16 years old but under the age of 18.  The crime of child seduction applies to individuals who are not the biological parents of the child but who are in a position of trust or power over a child, including:

  • Guardians, adoptive parents or grandparents, custodians, or stepparents
  • Childcare workers
  • Individuals who had or have a professional relationship with a child that allows exertion of undue influence, and who exert that undue influence (includes therapists, counselors, teachers, etc.)
  • Law enforcement officers who are at least 5 years older than the child, have contact during the execution of their duties, and use or exert that professional relationship over the child

When the crime of child seduction involves touching or fondling, it is classified as a Level 6 felony punishable by a 6 month to 2 ½ year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000.  If sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct occurs, the crime is elevated to a Level 5 felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  In addition, individuals convicted of child seduction are also required to register as sex offenders and are likely to face other life-altering consequences, including the potential loss of employment.

Incest

Technically a “crime against the family,” Indiana Code § 35-46-1-3 defines incest to occur when a person who is at least 18 years of age engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a person who is known to be related to the person biologically (such as a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew).  Incest is categorized as a Level 5 felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  However, if the other person is less than 16 years of age, it will be deemed a Level 4 felony offense, punishable by 2 to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.   Similar to child seduction, individuals who are convicted of incest are required to register with the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.

Schedule a Free, Confidential Consultation to Discuss Your Child Seduction or Incest Case

If someone has alleged that you committed child seduction or incest in Northwest Indiana, we invite you to contact us at (219) 525-1000 to discuss your case.  Our firm offers free, comprehensive, and confidential consultations, and we want you to feel confident that we are the best choice to defend your legal rights. Child seduction or incest cases often result in isolation from your family members and the community, loss of income and even your career depending on your job type, and may result in you feeling as though you need to relocate, but the tactics law enforcement and social services officials employ can be used to your advantage.

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