Police in Norcross say they are conducting an Internet child predator sting by using undercover officers posing as teenagers. So far, one person, 47-year-old Kenneth Edward Noland of Atlanta, has been arrested for sending a nude photo of himself to an officer posing as a teen and even setting up a meeting. Noland reportedly didn’t show up to the scheduled meeting, but was arrested on suspicion of furnishing obscene material to a minor, which is a misdemeanor, the newspaper reported.
What does this mean for Noland? If convicted, he will be mandated to register as a Georgia sex offender and cannot have unsupervised contact with minors. He is currently out on a $2,850 bond. Police say although he did not come to the meeting, sending out obscene material to an underage person is a crime. Investigators also told the newspaper that most of the men they communicated with broke off contact when they found out the posing officer’s made-up age.
According to Georgia law, electronically furnishing obscene material to minors is illegal if one knows or has good reason to know the character of the material furnished. This includes material such as pictures or photograph of a person or a portion of the human body, which is suggestive of sexual conduct or depicts sexual conduct, nudity or abuse. Written matter could also fall under this category.
Police officers and detectives commonly use themselves as bait to apprehend those that are a danger to society and young people in particular. It has proven to be an effective method in some cases. But, by casting a wide net, sometimes the authorities can catch the wrong person. A person may sometimes misunderstand a piece of communication or overlook a fact that has been stated. Where communication is not direct and when it involves computers, anything could be misinterpreted.
As Atlanta sex crime defense attorneys we have seen that such misunderstandings can have serious consequences, such as landing you in jail or leaving a stain on your permanent record. Don’t let this happen to you. If your or a loved one has been accused of committing a sex crime, call an experienced sex crime defense attorney.
A conviction on a Georgia sex crime could mean any number of things – from public embarrassment to losing your job or career. You could even be penalized in the future if you fail to register as a sex offender.