Fantasy defense

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The fantasy defense is where a defendant accused of attempting a crime (enticing minors into sexual activity, for example) claims that they never intended to complete the crime. Instead, they claim they were engaged in a fantasy and, in the case of luring a minor, believed they were dealing with an adult.[1]

The fantasy defense was developed by Donald B. Marks, the attorney for Patrick Naughton,[2] the Disney executive who eventually pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to have sex with a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b).[3][4][5] The "fantasy defense" used in the Naughton case was novel; however, since the closely watched Naughton fantasy defense was successful, defense lawyers were expected to use it to help other clients.[4]


  1. ^ Ferraro, Monique Mattei; Casey, Eoghan (2005). Investigating Child Exploitation and Pornography: The Internet, the Law and Forensic Science. Academic Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-12-163105-5. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  2. ^ "In the Media". Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  3. ^ "The Fantasy Defense". CBS News. 2000-05-31. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  4. ^ a b Yamagami, Donald S. (2000). "Prosecuting Cyber-Pedophiles: How Can Intent Be Shown in a Virtual World in Light of the Fantasy Defense?". Santa Clara Law Review. 41 (2). Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  5. ^ Young, Kimberly (2005). "Profiling Online Sex Offenders, Cyber-Predators, and Pedophiles" (PDF). Journal of Behavioral Profiling. 5 (1). Retrieved 3 January 2014.
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