March 21 2017
In the latest Gainesville Internet sting operation, only five men were arrested.
Either the men are getting wiser and more savvy to the police undercover operations, or the police are down to the bottom of the bucket on suspects. The truth is that many times, in the operations that are supposed to target predators, the police really arrest mentally challenged young men or socially inept shy men who fall for police entrapment. I have now handled about forty of these cases across the State. In the last sting in Manatee County, two of the young men arrested were Autistic. One had suffered major traumatic brain injury and another was intellectually challenged. Many, if not most of the people arrested in the sex stings are not really pedophiles. Many are shy and introverted and are on the Internet seeking a date. I have one case where the 28 year old man had never had a date or sex in his life, much less sex with a child.
The truth is that these sex sting operations create crimes and destroy lives forever.
It is true that occasionally they will arrest someone who was truly looking for a child but most of the time it is the police undercover detectives that are doing the seducing. It is the police that go on the social media sites posing as adults. They post seductive photographs with suggestive comments as an adult, usually 19 or 20, and then when unsuspecting adult men respond, they claim to be underage. In reality, nothing on the Internet is true. The police are lying about who they are, their age, and their intentions. When men respond, most of the time, they are also lying. Most of these cases involve two men lying to each other. The police then take the position that what the suspect is saying is true when most of the time it is just Internet lying and role playing. The public and the juries need to be educated as to how these cases are really being created by the cops to pump up arrest statistics.
If you have a son or relative arrested in one of these sex stings, do not abandon them.
Many times, they are not really guilty and are in fact the victim themselves of police entrapment.
You cannot believe the medial reports. The media is often misled by the local sheriff. For an elected official, sex stings are a press bonanza. It gives the sheriff a chance to stand before the cameras and tell his citizens he is protecting their children. Just look at the Grady Judd dog and pony show they run every other month. The truth is that in a lot of the cases, the police are the ones doing the luring, seducing and enticing. It makes great press but it does nothing to protect and serve the community. Imagine if that same police resource was used to identify potential terrorists or dangerous mentally ill people hell bent on death and destruction. Imagine if those same officers were on the Internet targeting terrorists instead of shy men.
The Internet is a dangerous place.
Social media like “Plentyofish.com” is a favorite used by police. If you ever are on a social media site and someone claims to be underage, flag them and report them to the police immediately. Do your part to keep real children off these sites. As a sex crime lawyer, I see the other side of these cases. The true harm done to the shy young men is heartbreaking.
If you or a loved one was arrested in the recent Gainesville Florida internet sting or arrested in Alachua County for a sex sting Crime talk to a Sex Crime Lawyer