The landmark criminal case, "United States v. Douglas Perlitz," established legal and law enforcement precedents by which a U.S. citizen will be prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department for crimes committed against children, no matter where in the world the crimes are committed.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
In an effort to fight international sex trafficking, Congress passed the PROTECT Act in 2003, which amended the existing law to include activities conducted on foreign soil.
(a)Transportation With Intent To Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity.— A person who knowingly transports an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, with intent that the individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.
(b)Travel With Intent To Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct.— A person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
(c)Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places.— Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
(d)Ancillary Offenses.— Whoever, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces, procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
(e)Attempt and Conspiracy.— Whoever attempts or conspires to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
(f)Definition.— As used in this section, the term “illicit sexual conduct” means
(1)a sexual act (as defined in section 2246) with a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or
(2)any commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person under 18 years of age.
(g)Defense.— In a prosecution under this section based on illicit sexual conduct as defined in subsection (f)(2), it is a defense, which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant reasonably believed that the person with whom the defendant engaged in the commercial sex act had attained the age of 18 years.