Internet Sex Stings…Taking It to the Next Level
Things are changing when it comes to Florida Internet Sex Stings. Until recently, the police were spending most of their time on Craigslist, Backpage and Adam4Adam in sex stings. For several years, the police regularly trolled the Internetposting deceptive ads in adult web sites and then doing their basic bait and switch. Although they continue to dominate those sites, the police recently have switched to other Internet sites like Meetme and have engaged unsuspecting adults with modern applications like Omegle and kik. Omegle provides online real time chat and allows people to communicate with strangers sometime with random pairing. Omegle allows people 13 and up to communicate which makes it fair game for the police to troll. Omegle also allows unmonitored real time video chat which means that people can in “real time” do some pretty gross stuff presumably in front of each other. My advice to everyone is to stay off this site.
Another common tactic for the police is for them to contact adults who have posted profiles on Meetme or other social media sites and then suggest that the parties go to kik to continue messaging. Although kik is often simply a mistype of lol and an accident, it now means going to a special application where parties can engage in real time texting. When the police run a sting they have access to all of the latest technology. If you kik with a cop and send a sexually explicit image to what they claim is a minor you could find yourself arrested and charged with sending harmful material to a minor. Worse yet, if they talk you into traveling to meet a minor you will find yourself arrested and on some Sheriff’s media circus. Here are some basic rules.
Young girls are not on the Internet looking to have sex with adult men. If by accident you encounter someone on the Internet that suggests they are underage and looking for someone to teach them, terminate all contact and flag it if you can. There is a misconception that minors are on the Internet looking for sex. The truth is, most of the time it is an undercover cop, working with his cohorts, trying to set you up for an arrest. Do not even think about having sex with a person under 18. Although the age of consent in Florida is sixteen, if you are over 24 it is still a crime to have sex with a seventeen year old. In some of the recent stings, the police undercover chatters claim to be 17 to lure you in.
As an Internet sex sting lawyer, I have seen it all. Things are really changing and the Internet is not a safe place for even consenting adults to “hookup”. You can expect to see more sex stings in the future. Sarasota is overdue and my prediction is that in the near future they will be up and running here. Do not put yourself in danger. Never communicate with a minor, even out of curiosity. As they say, curiosity killed the cat.