Winning a Traveler Case 2015
There is no question but that these internet sex sting cases are very tough in front of a jury. That does not mean that cyber child sex sting cases are impossible. Every case where the allegations involve solicitation of a minor or seduction of a minor invoke negative emotions in jurors. It is for that very reason that jury selection is one of the most important phases of the trial. Over the years, as a Sarasota criminal defense attorney that I have devoted so much attention to the jury selection process. Last year, I tried several child sex crime cases in Sarasota and Bradenton where the nature of the offense involved minors. When the jurors were first read the sex sting charge by the judge you could see the reaction in their faces and body language. It is critical to overcome the negativity early in the sex sting trial process.
The jury needs to understand that being falsely accused of Internet solicitation of a minor is just as bad as solicitation of a minor. Being falsely accused is a terrible thing and the jury needs to be made aware of that fact. The prosecutors count on the fact that the jurors will be prejudiced against you. You have to overcome that prejudice early in the voir dire process.
You also have to have a solid theory of sex sting and sex crimes defense. It is not enough to simply deny the offense and put the State to their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If you intend to use entrapment, you better be able to establish it. You need to establish that law enforcement induced you into doing something you would not normally do. The issue ultimately becomes predisposition. Were you predisposed to engage in sex with a minor or was this an idea that was created in the mind of the undercover officer? You need to examine carefully the emails and chat exchanges. Were you in a site like Craigslist Casual Encounters that is designated as an adult site? Did the police lie about their age? Did the undercover chatter disclose age in the first few communications? Did the chatter bring up the idea of sex? Did the police chatter tell you about other sexual contacts she had? Did you break off communication? Did the police reinitiate contact with a text? Did the police say something like “are you mad at me”? The ultimate issue is “Who is doing the real seducing”?
Every case is fact specific and no two cases are the same. I have been involved in approximately twenty of these cases in the last two years and there is a pattern to what the cops are doing on the Internet. They are the ones actually pursuing a hookup. They are the ones inviting travel. They are the ones pushing a meeting.
Not all attorneys are experienced in these types of cases and it is critical to know how to effectively attack the police witnesses on the issue of entrapment. If you or a loved one have a Internet sex sting case you can call for a free consultation. As a Sarasota sex crime lawyer, I have devoted a substantial portion of my practice to defending these cases Statewide. If you or a loved one has been arrested or are in an upcoming internet sex sting trial and have questions, please call me, Peter D Aiken at 941 366 3506 or
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