A unanimous Supreme Court reversed last week the indictment of Jeremy Mejak for violating ARS 13-3554(a), which prohibits offering or soliciting sexual conduct when the person offering or soliciting the conduct knows or has reason to know that the recipient of the offer is a minor. In this case, Mejak engaged in online chat with and eventually solicitation of, a television reporter posing as a 13 year old during an "expose" on internet sex crimes. When Mejak and his chat partner agreed to meet, he was met not by a 13 year old, but by television cameras.
Indicted based upon tapes of the meeting provided to police, Mejak filed a motion to dismiss in Superior Court and then a Special Action in the Court of Appeals arguing that his target was not, in fact, a minor, and that therefore he could not be convicted of the crime. Though the Court of Appeals declined jurisdiction, the Supreme Court accepted and agreed with Mejak that he had not violated 13-3554(a). The Court reasoned that the statute provides specifically that the victim of solicitation under 13-33554(a) must be a minor or a peace officer posing as a minor. Here, because the reporter satisfied neither category, the indictment had to be dismissed.