Kidnapping began as a crime which involved forcibly abducting someone and carrying him or her to a different country. Today, kidnapping occurs when someone forcibly abducts or confines another person against his or her will.
Children occupy a special place in the law. Legal systems presume that children do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves or make their own choices. Instead, many of the choices a child has are often made by the child's parent, legal guardian, or custodian.
Parents or guardians who care for minor children have a legal responsibility to protect the children and ensure they are not exposed to harm. When such an adult deserts or abandons a child, that behavior is often a crime. Even though child abandonment and desertion laws differ significantly among states, all states have laws that criminalize this type of behavior.
Standing on the sidewalk with your three-year-old, she pulls away from you and starts running toward a busy street. To her, it is a game, but to you, it is a life-threatening situation. You grab her just as she heads into the street and deliver a swift smack on the bum with an admonition, “No running in the street!” Startled, she stops. Have you just committed a crime?
Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the 1990s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos.
Child enticement is a crime that involves an adult persuading, or attempting to persuade, a child to accompany him or her for the purposes of sexual activity. The type of situations that can lead to child enticement charges differs from state to state.
“Jail bait” is a derogatory term for an underage boyfriend or girlfriend, but it carries a hint of truth: A person who has sex with a person under a certain age risks doing time, even if the younger person is a willing partner.
Question: I’m an 18-year old guy and my boyfriend, Rob, is 16. We’re students in Austin, Texas. One of my friends said I could be thrown in jail for having sex with Rob because he’s under 17. Is this true?