Hypothetical question: Let take a cybercrime is happend with minor overseas. But it is too lightly.consider it is chatting between two people-adult and minor and no photos are sent. Does it prosecutes from one country two another?

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    The main problem with prosecution of cybercrimes is that it is usually hard or impossible to track down the involved people. Therefore, they will likely concentrate on big cases, but whether a state attorney decides to prosecute a case is entirely their decision. Relying on something not being prosecuted is playing with the fire.
    – PMF
    Commented Sep 17, 2022 at 16:20
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    Possibly related: law.stackexchange.com/a/84403/35069
    – user35069
    Commented Sep 17, 2022 at 16:58
  • All cybercrime is under-prosecuted. " it is chatting between two people-adult and minor and no photos are sent" What makes you think that this is a crime?
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 21:26
  • One used the word roleplay. The adult asked the minor,"do u want to roleplay'. And then chat is closed. Is it crime?
    – Mamma mia
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


That depends on several things:

  • Do the authorities have solid evidence of what happened? Authorities in which country? A screenshot is not evidence, that would be easily faked. It takes access to the metadata.
  • Does the country where the perpetrator lives consider it a serious crime? Note that when two people exchange such messages, who is the criminal and who is the victim can depend on the ages of both, and the exact rules of who is guilty of what may differ from country to country.
  • There are countries which prosecute child abuse by their citizens or residents abroad once they come back.

So it may be that nothing happens, or it may be prosecuted.


First check the law. The law will prosecute many crimes only if they happen in the own country, others are prosecuted if it happens abroad. And with cybercrime it might not be clear whether it happened overseas or not. So if you commit a crime by typing on a keyboard in France which causes something to happen in Portugal, then France might not prosecute you, prosecute you for a crime abroad, or prosecute you for a crime in France, all depending on French law. And Portugal might prosecute you according to Portuguese law.

Next, look at the practicalities. Police tends to go after easier cases if everything else is equal. If US police has a case in the USA, and an identical case abroad, and limited time, they’ll investigate the case in the USA. Especially if chances of actually getting an overseas criminal into their hands are low.

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