Is Entrapment a Defense in an Internet Sex Sting case?
As more and more people get arrested and charged with Internet Solicitation of a Minor and traveling to meet a minor, the Courts are presented with this question. The answer is that it all depends on the particular facts of the communications and the arrest. Some courageous judges, fed up with the outrageous police tactics have ruled that in some cases the police conduct actually constitutes “Entrapment” as a matter of law. In two cases in Manatee County cases from Operation Green Shepherd were dismissed by the judge. Also, juries are now being educated as to what the police are actually doing and in a recent case I tried in Sarasota County from Operation Intercept a jury acquitted a young man based on “entrapment”. To win an entrapment case, you have to know how to present it to a Court and most importantly, a jury. Not all criminal defense lawyers are experienced in raising an entrapment defense in an Internet sex sting case.
When you raise the defense of entrapment, you are basically admitting that you committed the offense but establishing that you were induced or persuaded to travel or chat by improper police conduct. The truth is that the police are not catching child predators as they claim in their press releases. The truth is that they are creating crime. The various task forces receive Federal money and are under pressure to make arrests. It is a lot easier for them to create a crime than to detect a crime. Entrapment is a defense to improper police conduct.
How do you prove Entrapment?
For starters, you have to prove that the crime originated in the minds of the police and not your client. Who posted the ad? In what category was it posted? Did the content of the ad contain lies and misstatements? Did the police have to certify they were over 18 to be on the site? Did the ad itself solicit sexual contact? Was the ad misleading? Did the police invite the travel? In the emails and texts, did the police seduce, solicit or suggest sex? Did the police suggest bringing condoms? Did the police send photographs? If the answer to any one of these questions is yes, you may have an entrapment defense. I have been raising entrapment as a defense as a criminal defense lawyer for thirty years. You have to know how to present this defense correctly to have any chance of winning. If you or a loved one has been arrested and you think you may have an entrapment defense, call for a free consultation or simply Google “Peter Aiken” and visit one of my websites or blogs dedicated to sex crime defense. You can call and speak with me at my Sarasota office at 941 366 3506