In general, sex crimes are prosecuted at the state level. In Oklahoma, sex crimes include rape, forcible sodomy, lewd acts with minors, sexual battery, solicitation of minors, child pornography, and others. Although states usually take jurisdiction over these cases, many sex offenses which violate state law also violate federal law. Federal prosecutors may try these cases in United States District Court, particularly if the crime crossed state lines, if the offense occurred on federal property or tribal Indian land, or if it was detected as part of a national investigative initiative.
Federal sex offenses are typically investigated by highly skilled agencies and task forces, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the National Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Postal Inspection Service (PI), and other agencies of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
A federal case is challenging, and anyone charged in federal court must be represented by a skillful federal defense attorney licensed to practice in the U.S. District Courts of the Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma. Federal crimes often carry more stringent penalties than state crimes, and prosecution by U.S. Attorneys is backed by evidence gleaned from the investigation of highly specialized law enforcement agencies. It is imperative that a defendant charged with a federal offense obtains the legal defense representation of a federal lawyer equipped to handle the challenges of such a case.
Sex crimes that violate the United States criminal code include:
With growing awareness of human trafficking in the United States, and with the crime itself growing through the use of computers and internet ads to solicit prostitution with minors and other victims of trafficking, the federal government is starting to take jurisdiction over more trafficking cases, and national initiatives and sting operations are leading to more arrests and criminal charges nationwide.
The FBI's Innocence Lost National Initiative combines the forces of the United States Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and state and local law enforcement agencies to detect and prosecute trafficking in children and child prostitution. To date, its seven iterations of Operation Cross Country stings have resulted in nearly 3,000 children being rescued from prostitution and have led to thousands of arrests for prostitution, pimping, and human trafficking .
Federal legislation has led to the enactment of several laws which have changed the nature of sex crimes, online predator investigation, and sex offender registration and notification. Federal resources and relevant acts include:
If you have been accused of a sex crime and arrested by federal agents or charged by a U.S. District Attorney, act quickly to retain the legal representation and counsel of a defense attorney with experience handling tough cases in federal court. Submit a confidential case review form online or call (405) 418-8888 to schedule your free consultation with a federal defense lawyer.