“Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes” What Washington State Law is Not Talking About
The term “child grooming” describes a pattern of behaviors used by child sex offenders to gain access to, and control of, a child victim in order to build a sexual relationship with that child. Washington State law does not wholly define nor recognize penalties for the act of “child grooming” as a direct crime where the behaviors occur in situations of direct contact between an offender and a child victim. This oversight interrupts law enforcement investigation and places children in the community at risk to predatory offenders. This is an exploratory study of a policy change to better address child grooming behaviors within Washington State law. Using crosstabulation and a case study scenario, I examine the effectiveness of the current statutes, and explore discrepancies within the laws. I conclude that modifications to the written language within RCW 9.68A.090 “Communication with Minor for Immoral Purposes” might better support law enforcement investigation for addressing child grooming behaviors.
- MA in Policy Studies