In the months since his appointment as the nation’s top cop, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has firmly established that the Department of Justice, under his direction, will be changing its priorities and implementing a “tough on crime” approach in the coming years.
Indeed, our blog has outlined in previous posts how Sessions has already made it clear to federal prosecutors through a series of memos that their priorities going forward are to combat violent crime, and “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense(s).”
In recent developments, Sessions has now outlined another priority for the DOJ: investigating and prosecuting sex crimes involving minors.
At a conference held in Atlanta last week on child exploitation, Sessions informed the assembled prosecutors and law enforcement officials that while efforts to crack down on crime in this area will not be easy given how technology has made it easier for individuals to avoid detection, officials must not be deterred.
“Nothing less than a united effort will be enough … It will take all of us — investigators, prosecutors and victim support specialists; teachers, parents and concerned citizens,”
In his address, the AG also indicated that incarceration was the only real solution for those convicted of sex offenses involving minors, and warned that federal law enforcement officials are already working across state lines.
To that end, he pointed to recent federal cases in Alabama and neighboring Georgia that saw 29 people arrested and charged with possession and/or distribution of child pornography.
What all of this really serves to underscore is that federal law enforcement officials will now be out in full force, conducting investigations and looking to put more people behind bars.
Of course, with any such campaigns — and the accompanying pressure by high-level officials — comes the risk of mistakes being made and, more significantly, constitutional rights being violated.
Now perhaps more than ever, if you are under investigation or have been charged with any manner of sex offense, it’s imperative to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.