Lee County Jumps on Internet Sex Sting Bandwagon
Just as I predicted on May 20, a week before the sting started, Lee County joined the growing number of law enforcement agencies entrapping unsuspecting adults looking for other adults on Internet dating sites. Sheriff Mike Scott makes it sound like the public is being protected from sex predators preying on children. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the facts come out it will be obvious that it was the police doing the luring, enticing and seducing in the latest Internet sex sting operation called “Operation Safe Summer”. The truth is that the police actually contact adults on the Internet, first posing as adults themselves. They then do the basic bait and switch saying “I lied, I am really only 15”. These men were not looking for children. They are not sex predators. Most of them are shy men trying to hookup with another adult. They get lured into chatting and texting with cops experienced in entrapping people into traveling to meet a minor. I have now been involved in about twenty of these case in multiple Counties including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk , Sarasota and Lee County. I actually began defending these type of Internet Stings back when Chris Hansen was doing his famous TV show “To Catch a Predator”. One of his first shows was in Lee County in a house down the street from mine on McGregor Avenue.
As a sex sting lawyer and sex crime lawyer, I see a real pattern in the police conduct. What they are doing is simply not right. They are not catching real pedophiles. They are creating crime.
In this case, 40 officers were involved and the sting cost about $80,000 in law enforcement resources. Imagine how that money could have been spent actually keeping kids off the Internet. In all of the cases I have handled I have yet to see a single one where a child has been on Craigslist or PlenntyOFish or any of the other hookup sites. The public is being misled into believing that these stings really detect crime. It is simply not true. If a loved one has been arrested, do not assume they are guilty. Call today for a free consultation. Do not be afraid to call and ask questions, the answers to these questions can make an overall difference in the outcome of your case.
My office is in downtown Ft. Myers on Cleveland Avenue and we will set up an appointment or go visit your loved one in jail. Do not let him become a registered sex offender.
Peter D. Aiken Criminal Defense Sex Sting Lawyer interview.
Operation safe summer related article and videos: