The Sex Stings Just Keep coming….Gainesville

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Another sex sting, Operation Panther, was just announced in Gainesville

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Over twenty men were arrested in this latest Internet undercover operation in Alachua County. The police claim that over 2200 responses were received, resulting in arrests of men who traveled to meet minors for sexual encounters. What the news articles do not disclose are the tactics used by the police to entrap men who were initially seeking encounters with consenting adults on social media sites. I am willing to bet that in almost every instance the police first posed as an adult in an adult site and then bait and switched the men responding enticing them to meet with someone underage instead. I have now been involved in thirty six sex sting defenses and there is a clear pattern to the entrapment techniques used by law enforcement.

What the police are doing is simply wrong. They are creating crimes.

Most of the men who get tricked into traveling to meet a minor never intended to hook up with a child. Many respond out of pure curiosity. There is an old saying: “Curiosity killed the Cat”. As a sex sting lawyer, over and over, I read the texts and chats where the police are actually doing the luring, seducing and enticing. These cases are not hopeless and families should not assume the worst about a relative like a son, nephew or brother being arrested. The public is consistently misled with the press releases. What the police are actually doing is often catching shy or introverted lonely men who are weak and fall for the temptation of sexual chat, texting, sexting or phone calls.
The cops troll the internet adult dating sites like Backpage.com, Craigslist casual encounters, Adam4Adam posting profiles as adults. They post suggestive ads seeking men who want taboo encounters. They often pose as adult sisters seeking someone to teach little “Sis” about sex. They pose as single parents seeking someone to help educate their child about sex. I have found over the years that there are no real minors on the Internet looking to hookup with older men. It is always the cops. The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime. If you see a minor on the Internet, report and flag the posting. Let us all do our part to keep real kids off the Internet. If the police focused on prevention rather than creating arrests we would all be better off.
If a friend or relative got busted in this sex crime sting call for a free consultation at 941 366 3506

RELATED ARTICLEs:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/21-arrested-in-gainesville-sex-crime-sting/35042790

http://www.news4jax.com/news/2-nabbed-in-sex-sting-brought-skittles-to-meet-teen/35067954

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150902/ARTICLES/150909948

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150901/articles/150909989

 Related Videos:

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/crime/2015/09/01/21-nabbed-in-gainesville-child-sex-sting-operation/71523290/

http://www.news4jax.com/news/professor-and-student-arrest-in-sting/35070278

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Winning a Traveler Case

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Can a Traveling to Meet a Minor Case be won at Trial?
There is no question but that these cases are very tough in front of a jury. That does not mean they 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 cases in Sarasota where the nature of the offense involved minors. When the jurors were first read the 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 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 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 941-366-3506.  As a Sarasota sex crime lawyer, I have devoted a substantial portion of my practice to defending these cases Statewide.