Under Washington law, commercial sexual abuse of a minor is a serious crime that involves a person soliciting, offering, or trying to have sex with a minor in exchange for something of value. The offense is charged as a felony and a conviction could result in a state prison term of up to 10 years. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing any type of sex charge, or one involving a minor.

What is Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor?

RCW 9.68A.100 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on commercial sexual abuse of a minor (CSAM). A person commits this offense if he or she either:

  1. Provides anything of value to a minor or third person as compensation for the minor to engage in sexual conduct with the person,
  2. Provides or agrees to provide anything of value to a minor or third person pursuant to an understanding that, in return, the minor will engage in sexual conduct with the person, or
  3. Solicits, offers, or requests to engage in sexual conduct with a minor in return for anything of value.

Note that it is not a defense to this crime for a defendant to show that the minor consented to have sex.

Further, for purposes of this statute, “sexual conduct” means:

  • sexual intercourse, or
  • sexual contact.

What are the penalties?

Prosecutors typically charge CSAM as a class B felony. A class B felony is punishable by:

  • custody in state prison for up to 10 years, and/or
  • a maximum fine of $20,000.

Note that penalties can grow even more severe if someone is a repeat offender of CSAM or has a criminal history involving a different crime.

Further, please keep in mind that people convicted of CSAM will have to face the unpleasant consequence of registering as a sex offender, usually for 10 years or oven longer.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. People charged with this crime can challenge it with a legal defense. A common defense is for a defendant to show that his/her case did not involve a minor. Depending on the facts, though, you could still face other criminal charges.

A separate defense is to show that you were entrapped. Entrapment is a common legal defense when people are arrested following an undercover sting. The defense asserts that you only committed a crime because the police lured you into doing so.

You can also always raise a defense that authorities violated one of your constitutional rights. For example, you might show that the police coerced a confession. If so, you might be able to get your criminal charges reduced or even dropped.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a CSAM charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced sex crime lawyers at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on criminal charges involving minors. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!