In the latest Sarasota Sex Sting, all of the men that were arrested were held for 96 hours on the fourth floor of the jail with no access to telephones to call relatives or lawyers. It makes a mockery of the criminal justice system and the United States Constitution and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. This is not the first time the Sheriff has done this. Every time his deputies run a sex sting, to conceal the fact that a sex sting is in process, the men arrested are put in a section of the jail without phone access. Even when the fact they are in jail is “smuggled” out by other inmates, when relatives came to visit, they were denied access.
This is a pattern by the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department to effectively deny the men arrested the right to an attorney.
The detectives posed as adults, posting adult profiles on adult sites. It was only after hours and days of chats that the detectives in classic bait and switch claimed they were underage. They got young men hooked in the chat and then changed the age. They asked the young men to travel to them. They asked the young men to bring condoms. The hounded the young men with texts and calls. When the men balked they actively encouraged them to come.
The Sarasota sheriff’s deputies are the real sex predators preying on basically young men who were seeking only adult companionship. When the true facts come out, the public will be outraged.
Almost all of the men are still in jail on high bonds and only in the last 24 hours have been able to speak with anyone. What the Sheriff’s department is doing is just plain wrong. It is wrong on many levels. Hopefully as these cases get into the Courts, juries will find out what our Sheriff is really doing. There is no excuse for law enforcement to act in this manner.
Grady Judd is at it again in 2016 with another sex sting in Polk County. Just when you think it is safe to go back on the Internet, Polk County deputies run their classic bait and switch sex sting. This time they call it “Operation April’s Fools”. Most were arrested for traveling to meet a minor, solicitation of a minor, transmission of information harmful to a minor and use of a communication device to commit a felony. Some of the men arrested had drugs on them including marijuana and pot. Grady’s detectives worked with other law enforcement agencies, including the FDLE. Most of the men arrested were young. They fell for the classic ploy where the police pretended to be a single dad wanting his daughter to learn about sex. The men came from all across Florida from Collier, Lake, Osceola, Orange, St. Johns, Seminole and Volusia County. As a sex sting lawyer, it never ceases to amaze me how Judd’s deputies time after time trick men into sexual chatting, sexting and traveling. The cops in Polk have it down to a science. They know just what to put in the ad. They know just how to tempt young lonely introverted men into doing something that they would never ever do. Judd’s detectives are masters in convincing otherwise law abiding young men into doing something stupid. Sadly, for the men that fall for the sting, the arrest will cost them their jobs, land them in county jail awaiting trial, and if convicted destroy their lives. Grady always says he is protecting the people of his County. The sad truth is that most of the men arrested in the sting are not from Polk but rather young guys drawn there by the ultimate temptation, sex.
Sex is the ultimate bait for a young man. A lot of the guys were between 19 and 22. In my opinion, the sex stings, although fantastic publicity for an elected official do more harm than good. The police are creating crime, not detecting or preventing it. The crime originates in the mind of the undercover officer and he sells it to an unsuspecting young impressionable man. Most of the young men really were entrapped.
There are defense in some of the cases. Entrapment may be a valid defense depending on what is said in the chats. The police ask them to bring condoms and when they show up with condoms blame them for it. The police ask them to come and have sex and when they accept, claim that it is the defendant that did the solicitation. I have been involved in thirty six sex sting defenses all across Florida. Nine times out of ten, it is the police doing the soliciting. A conviction can result in a State prison sentence, sex offender registration, sex offender probation and a lifetime of misery.
Defending the Serious Sex Crime involving a minor
Throughout Florida and the United States there are arrests for child porn sex stings daily. The charges range from solicitation of a child, possession or transmission of child pornography across the internet to lewd and lascivious, sexual battery on a child without a victim to traveling to meet with intent to have sex with a child. Although the facts are not always made public, in all likelihood undercover Sheriff’s deputies are again trolling the Internet trying to induce men into either sending or receiving child porn or traveling to meet a minor. In the past, as the true facts unfold we learn that in many of the so called sex stings, it is the undercover officers that are the ones luring, seducing and enticing otherwise law abiding men into succumbing to temptation. It is important to remember that these men are assumed to be innocent. If a loved one has been arrested in a sex sting, do not assume they are guilty. Sadly, most of the time, families and employers abandon men based solely on the criminal charges that are filed. As a sex sting and sex crime lawyer, the one thing I have learned is not to prejudge a situation. There is a world of difference between an accusation and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Over the next few days and weeks we will learn more about this in the latest Florida sex sting. As a Child Pornography Defense Attorney, I often see that some people assume that if a person possesses child porn, they go on to molest children. In most instances, this is simply not true. Over the years I have found that many of the men that are charged with possession of child pornography were victims themselves in their youth. Viewing pictures of minors does not mean that a person molests minors. Often child pornography images can end up accidently on a computer. Even if a person tries to delete a child pornography image, it unfortunately still remains in the unallocated space part of the hard drive. Not all criminal defense lawyers understand the ins and outs of child pornography defense or understand or appreciate the difficulty of defending sex crimes. If a relative or loved one has been arrested in a sex sting feel free to call for a free consultation. As a Sex Crime Attorney, I have handled sex sting or child porn cases in Sarasota, Manatee, Lee, Polk, Seminole, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Brevard. I have followed cases of those arrested for serious sex crimes in many other cities and counties in Florida and other States for years and have good grip on what it a takes to successfully defend difficult sex crimes. Call my office in Sarasota at 941 366 3506 or Click here to visit our website: sarasotadefender.com