Enticing a Child under 16

Massachusetts has a variety of laws designed to protect its underage citizens. In an effort to keep the young and innocent youth away from those who wish to enact harm, Massachusetts criminalizes the act of enticing a child under the age of 16. As defined by the law, to entice is to lure, induce, persuade, tempt, incite, solicit, coax or invite. Pursuant to Massachusetts G. L. c. 265, s. 26C anyone who entices a child under the age of 16 (or someone he believes to be a child under the age of 16) to enter, exit or remain in any vehicle, building, dwelling or other outdoor space with the intent to violate any offense that has an element of use or attempted use of force shall be subject to punishment. For a complete list, please see below. The offender shall be punishable by the following:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 5 years, or
  • Imprisonment in a house or correction for no more than 2.5 years, or
  • A maximum fine of $5,000, or
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
Be aware of enticement of a child Craigslist Sting Operations.  If you have been charged with enticing a child under 16, the prosecutor must prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. As there are three prongs to this offense, one regarding the intent of the offender, the burden of proof may be difficult to satisfy. Therefore, it is important to contact a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney who is experienced in these types of situations and can work with you to develop the best legal defense for your case.

WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE?
In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must be able to prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt. First, they must prove that the alleged victim was a child under the age of 16 or that the defendant believed the alleged victim to be a child under the age of 16; second, they must prove that the defendant enticed the alleged victim to either enter, exit, or remain within a vehicle, dwelling, building, or outdoor space; Third, the prosecution must prove that the defendant did so with the intent that he, she, or another person would commit any of the following offenses:
  • Indecent assault and battery (on a child under the age of 14) (on 
a person with an intellectual disability) (on a person 14 years or 
older) [G.L. c. 265, §§ 13B, 13F or 13H]
  • Rape (of a child under 16 with force) (and abuse of a child under 
the age of 16) [G.L. c. 265, §§ 22, 22A or 23] 
  • Assault (on a child under 16) with intent to commit rape [G.L. c. 265, §§ 24 or 24B] 
  • Inducing a minor to become a prostitute [G.L. c. 272, § 4A] 
  • Open and gross lewdness [G.L. c. 272, § 16] 
  • Disseminating matter harmful to a minor [G.L. c. 272, § 28] 
  • Disseminating or possessing to disseminate obscene matter [G.L. c. 272, § 29]
  • Posing or exhibiting a child under 18 in a state of nudity or sexual conduct [G.L. c. 272, § 29A] 
  • Knowingly purchasing or possessing visual material of a child under 18 in sexual conduct [G.L. c. 272, § 29C] 
  • Unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16 [G.L. c. 272, § 35A]
  • Accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex [G.L. c. 272, § 53] 
  • Common nightwalker or streetwalker [G.L. c. 272, § 53] 
  • Disorderly conduct [G.L. c. 272, § 53] 
  • Disturbing the peace [G.L. c. 272, § 53] 
  • Indecent exposure [G.L. c. 272, § 53]
  • Keeping a noisy and disorderly house [G.L. c. 272, § 53] 
  • Lewd, wanton and lascivious conduct [G.L. c. 272, § 53]
  • Engaging in sexual conduct for a fee [G.L. c. 272, § 53A]
  • Paying for sexual conduct (with a child under 14) 
[G.L. c. 272, § 53A]
Many 'Enticing a Child under 16' cases stem from a misunderstanding. No matter the circumstances of your case, The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy will fight to ensure that your side of the story is heard. The effects of a conviction for this crime can be devastating. Attorney Murphy is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of family and sex crime laws in Massachusetts and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions for your alleged offense. In certain circumstances, early intervention by a lawyer may be hugely beneficial on the outcome of a case. In any case, do not gamble with your future, contact The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy by calling 617-367-0450 or completing the contact form on our website. As a dedicated legal advocate, Attorney Murphy is available 24/7.

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