In an attempt to have the charge thrown out, 3rd District Judge Stephen Henroid ruled that it didn't matter that Gallegos showed up at the meeting site and that the crime was completed over the Internet.During oral arguments Wednesday, justices differed as to whether Gallegos' conversation could convict him.Taliaferro argued that on the Internet people pose as someone they are not all of the time and that it is difficult to tell who you are actually chatting with.
The trial court ruled the testimony was not relevant.
Justices said if the state sets out to prove someone's intent then perhaps a defendant should be allowed to challenge that with expert testimony.
He said he was "troubled" by the law and concerned about its constitutionality.
In this case, Wilkins said it appeared all the state needed to do to convict someone was to go online, set up a meeting for sex and that is enough.
Ultimately, the agent and Gallegos arranged a meeting outside a school in Sandy.
While Gallegos did drive by the meeting spot, officers said he sped off.
Taliaferro said in her client's case, he was convicted based solely on an Internet chat he claims was purely sexual fantasy.
James Gallegos, of Clearfield, was charged and convicted by a jury of enticing a 13-year-old girl over the Internet. In actuality, the 13-year-old was an adult agent with the Utah Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
After tracking his license plate number, Gallegos turned himself in.
Gallegos claims he had never believed the person he was chatting with was a minor.
"He definitely did more than just chat," said Chief Justice Christine Durham.