Fifth District Court of Appeal upholds dismissal in Sex Sting case today

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There was some good news in Sex Sting cases today. In a Brevard case, the appeals court has upheld the lower Court ruling dismissing a case in involving an attempted sex sting. The higher court affirmed the lower court without a detailed opinion. In this case, one I actually handled at the lower court, the undercover cop posted a profile on Plenty 0 Fish posing as a nineteen year old woman. The defendant, also on Plenty O Fish posted pretending to be a 25 year old man. Both were lying. They chatted for a while and ultimately, after some sexually explicit general questions, the defendant terminated contact and “blocked” further communication. The undercover detective (Spadafora) frustrated that the defendant would not meet, or even ask for sex then went to the defendants house, pretending to be looking for a girl gone missing after the chats. The defendant apologized simply saying no one believed it was real.
The judge at the hearing on the motion to dismiss commented that this was nothing more than two adults lying to each other. The defendant never asked to meet or travel. The undercover detective had posted a picture of an adult with an adult profile. In this case, there was no actual travel to meet and there was no real solicitation for sex. The undercover detective had posted a picture of an adult with an adult profile. In this case, there was no actual travel to meet and there was no real solicitation for sex.
The State was of the opinion that talking dirty is a crime, even if there is no real solicitation. Thank goodness the Court disagreed. After the dismissal by the lower Court, Michael Gelety handled the appeal and the defendant finally prevailed. It took two years but in the long run, justice did prevail. As a sex sting lawyer, it is encouraging to see that finally some of the appeal Courts are getting a handle on what the police are really doing. Our thanks to Jason Hicks a spectacular Brevard criminal defense lawyer whose hard work and diligence set up the legal issues, and Michael Fayard a Sarasota lawyer whose research greatly contributed to our success. It was a great team effort start to finish. There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of sex stings in Florida. Now, instead of big operations with “take down” houses the police are working smaller individual cases. Many of the investigations now focus on child porn. Grady Judd is still however running stings, now targeting prostitution. My bet is that the world’s oldest profession will outlast Grady Judd. Prostitution has been here since the beginning of time and before. Female Chimpanzees are known to trade sex for food and favors. Maybe when Grady Judd runs out of people to arrest he can go after the monkeys.
If you want to talk about a sex sting, call for a free consultation at 941 366 3506