Sex crimes defense lawyers are handling more and more cases of internet sex crimes. Although internet sex crimes, such as sexting, child pornography, and soliciting minors online, are against Oklahoma law, they also violate federal law.
As violations of United States criminal law, these offenses may be prosecuted in federal court, with the full force of governmental agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supporting the prosecution.
A former youth minister was charged in federal court in Oklahoma City with sexual exploitation of minors after he allegedly used a fake profile on Facebook to solicit nude photos. According to an FBI investigation, Daniel Leslie Mooneyham, 32, of Oklahoma City, created a fake Facebook profile posing as a woman and using the pseudonym "Terri Smith."
Mooneyham is accused of sending nude photos of a woman to male friends of the fake profile in return for their own nude photos.
The FBI says that Mooneyham's wife discovered her husband's scheme and reported it to the FBI. Investigators say the nude photos he received included those of minors. Allegedly, he solicited photos from one boy as young as 13; the boy apparently did not comply with the request. FBI agent Douglas Settle said Mooneyham admitted several months ago to creating the false profile and an email account for the purpose of soliciting nude photographs of men and boys.
He claims Mooneyham said he requested the pictures of minors out of "curiosity." Mooneyham's Oklahoma City internet sex crimes lawyer told the media that it is too early in the investigation to know whether the allegations against his client are valid or not. The federal charges are not Mooneyham's first run-in with the law.
In 2007, while he was youth minister of a Lexington, Oklahoma, church, Daniel Mooneyham was charged with embezzlement in Garvin County District Court. The following year, he was ordered to serve probation and pay restitution of $19,000.
According to his wife, Mooneyham is still active in the church, working as a Sunday school teacher and interacting with youth. Mooneyham's wife filed for an annulment of their marriage last week, saying that her husband committed fraud when he failed to disclose his sexual orientation prior to their marriage.
Both white collar crimes, like embezzlement, and internet sex crimes, like sexual exploitation of minors (soliciting a minor), are not only Oklahoma state crimes, but also United States federal crimes. Those charged with a federal offense in Oklahoma should seek a criminal lawyer with successful experience handling federal court cases.