The latest Internet Sex Sting was carried out in Washington State. Most of the arrests were in the Spokane area.
The undercover detectives did this one a little different. The ad was on Craigslist and the catch phrase was “looking for young family fun”. According to the news reports the detectives in twenty days received over 1068 responses. The undercover chatter was posing as a mother offering her six and eleven year old daughters as well as her thirteen year old son. The police were shocked at the response of over 1000 people. The police also said more arrests may be in the pipeline. This sting was an apparent huge success so you can expect more to follow.
For years as a sex crime lawyer I have been blogging warning people about the dangers of the Internet, especially Craigslist Casual Encounters. I have repeated over and over, the best way not to get arrested is to not commit a crime. Many people out of curiosity respond to these ads and get drawn into chats and emails by enticing comments by undercover detectives. Sadly, many of the “sex stings” entrap unsuspecting young men. They are lured and enticed by officers that are “masters of deception”. In the latest sting, out of forty men arrested, only two had priors for sex offenses with minors. As a sex sting lawyer, I have seen many men arrested who have low IQ’s and learning disabilities. Many are introverted and lack self confidence and are easily led astray. Rarely do the police catch the real predators.
In many respects, the sex stings are like shark fishing where the fisherman puts out chum to attract sharks. The chum attracts little fish and for every shark caught, there are 20 small “throw back” fish brought in. The difference is that in fishing the “by catch” is thrown back whereas in the Sex stings they keep them all. These cases do have defenses and an experienced criminal lawyer can make a huge difference in the ultimate outcome.
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