The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) uses the following definition of grooming:
“Grooming is a method used by offenders that involves building trust with a child and the adults around a child in an effort to gain access to and time alone with her/him. In extreme cases, offenders may use threats and physical force to sexually assault or abuse a child. More common, though, are subtle approaches designed to build relationships with families.”
“Any person 18 years of age or older who knows or should have reasonably known that a juvenile has been or is the victim of a violent offense, sexual offense, or misdemeanor child abuse under G.S. 14-318.2 shall immediately report the case of that juvenile to the appropriate local law enforcement agency in the county where the juvenile resides or is found,” Senate Bill 199 reads. Failure to report is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Any person who has not reached the age of 18 years old.
Child sexual abuse is defined as sexual activity with a child by an adult, adolescent or older child. If any adult engages in sexual activity with a child, that is sexual abuse. If another child or adolescent engages in sexual activity with a child, a grey area enters where some sexual behavior is innocent exploration rather than abuse.
Sexual Abuse Registry
Under North Carolina law, certain persons who have been convicted of a sex offense or an offense against a minor are required to establish and maintain registration in compliance with the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time the parties involved have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense, whether civil or criminal.
There is no statute of limitations in North Carolina for sex crimes from a criminal standpoint.