Increases in technology have allowed people from all over the world communicate with one another faster and easier than ever before. However, as the world turns into a virtual one, more criminal activity is conducted over the Internet. A top criminal lawyer in Michigan has likely handled many types of computer crimes ranging from trafficking illegal materials online to soliciting sex from minors. An example of this is seen in a recent case where police arrested a Michigan woman who traveled out-of-state to have sexual contact with an underage teen whom she met through a popular internet game.
Popular Game Leads To Inappropriate Contact With A Minor
Police regard the case of Lowell resident Angie Jenkins, 35, as being unique as she is one of the first women to be charged with using the Internet to contact a minor for sex. While using the popular online game “World of Warcraft,” Jenkins, a Kent County resident, began communicating with a 15-year-old in 2009. According to reports, the two chatted several times over the Internet and on the phone for several months before agreeing to meet in person. Last June, Jenkins traveled from her Grand Rapids area, Michigan home to visit the boy, who had since turned 16.
According to FBI investigations, the two engaged in sexual activity in a parked car outside a department store. Initially, both Jenkins and the youth lied to each other about their ages. The boy told her he was 20 years-old, while Jenkins maintained that she was 21 years-old. When the boy eventually confessed his real age to her, she replied that “it did not matter how old he was.”
Investigators from the FBI found her “World of Warcraft” screen name and issued an administrative subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment for Jenkins personal information. Complying with requests from detectives, the makers of the Internet game provided her name, address, and telephone number to police. If convicted of the felony computer and sex crimes listed against her, Jenkins could face life-changing consequences including stiff fines, inclusion on the Sex Offender Registry, and significant time behind bars.
The example of Angie Jenkins shows that law enforcement officials are patrolling online forums and games very closely for illegal activity. No longer can people hide behind a computer to conceal their identity and avoid punishments for computer crimes committed. Because of this, it is vital that individuals accused of computer crimes and Internet sex crimes contact an experienced, knowledgeable and sex crime lawyer for defense assistance. Moving to do so immediately can greatly improve your chances for a better outcome to your criminal case.