The Bradenton Sheriff, Brad Steube, finally on February 18th 2014 came forward with the public announcement that another 25 men were arrested in the latest Internet sex sting in Manatee County. I have been blogging on this since it started last week. In the press release they make it sound like they have apprehended sex predators. The truth is that, just as in the Pinellas County, Clearwater, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Tampa, Hillsborough, Seminole, Polk, Pasco, lake County, St Johns, Jacksonville and north Florida Cyber underage sex stings, it is the sheriff’s office and the participating police agencies that are the real sex predators. If the public only knew the truth. Twenty five lives have now been destroyed by police entrapment. When the truth finally surfaces, and it will, the public will find out that the police were contacting adults on adult sites on the Internet. The police were lying and posting profiles as women as old as thirty one. The police were bringing up the subject of sex, inviting men to travel and were the ones doing the soliciting and seducing. What the police are doing should be a crime.
In the latest sting, the police went way overboard. When they finally did the bait and switch and mentioned age, many of the men balked or terminated conversation. The police at that point are supposed to quit. In many of the cases, they did not. They, the cops, would reinitiate contact and go out of their way to entice the men into further conversation. Some of the men traveled to warn what they thought was an under aged girl about the dangers of the Internet.
I watched this one unfold all weekend. You could see the police ads and profiles in some of the dating sites like Craigslist Casual Encounters, Datehookup.com, and Meetme.com. The police were contacting men who were not even remotely looking for a minor. They were engaging them in chat and texts and actually suggesting sexual encounters. They would say things like “I am not happy with guys my age”. Law enforcement is supposed to let the suspect set the “tone and pace” of the conversation. In most instances, the cops would send a picture of an adult they claimed to be a minor. The police did all of the luring, seducing and enticing.
If you have a loved one arrested in one of these stings, do not assume they are guilty. They need your support and help now. The police held these men in “booking” all weekend to keep them from getting in touch with lawyers and their relatives. The men now have all lost their jobs and many cannot afford an experienced sex crime lawyer. These cases are defensible.
As a Florida Sex Sting Attorney, I want you to know the other side of these stories. If you want to know the truth about what the police really are doing, read all of my blogs.