In the latest Osceola County sex sting, ten men were arrested. Fortunately, the State Attorney’s office and the Judges in Osceola seem to treat men arrested in these stings more fairly than other jurisdictions. As a sex sting lawyer, I track the sentences men receive throughout Florida. The sentences vary greatly. Judges are becoming more and more aware of the tactics the police use in baiting men into these compromising situations.
In the latest sting, undercover police detectives posted ads on adult sites pretending to be a father with a 14 year old daughter. The undercover chatters pose as a father who wants someone to have sex with his daughter. It amazes me that men are still falling for this bait. There are no real fathers or mothers that want some man to come and teach their daughter about sex. Such ads are always the police. I have seen the police run other ads where they pose as a adult woman who wants a man to have sex with her minor sister. These types of ads are also deceptive. No real sister wants anyone to have sex with her little sister.
On a positive note, the judges in Osceola, realizing what the police are doing are in most cases not imposing prison on the men who fall for this type of entrapment. In Osceola, as opposed to places like Manatee County or Duval County, often the judges sentence people to community control (house arrest) or probation. Sadly if they plead to a sex charge, they still become a registered sex offender. In these types of cases, in the past, I have been successful in negotiating a plea to a non sex offense like attempted child abuse or unlawful use of a two way communication device. In Osceola, at least the prosecutors and the Courts take a common sense approach. For that I commend them. I have handled a lot of sex sting cases in Florida and wish more of the judges would recognize what the police are really doing.
Just as I predicted, the State (Bill Eddins ,State Attorney for Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton County in Florida) announced the arrest of 22 men in the latest Okaloosa sex Sting operation.
This one was captioned Operation Undertow and targeted men in the Pensacola area.
It is more of the same tactics where the police post ads on Craigslist looking for unsuspecting men they can bait and switch and talk into meeting with fictional children. They again used the classic bait words like “taboo” and pretended to be women looking for some man to “mentor their daughter”. They also used the classic bait phrase “I am very inexperienced” and suggested group sex scenes. I never cease to be amazed that men, year after year, fall for the same bait.
It has been about a year since the last Okaloosa sex sting. I would be willing to bet they run one in the near future. Sadly, in the last few stings I looked at, the undercover operations seemed to ensnare young men with mental disabilities. If you are a parent and have a son with a learning deficit, even if he is an adult, you need to monitor his Internet access. Young men with mental disabilities are the low hanging fruit for the police entrapment techniques.
The police also frequently run ads on Craigslist, pretending to be mothers who want someone to teach their daughters about sex.
That is ridiculous. There are no real mothers that would ever do that. No real mother would ever want her child to hook up with an adult. It is a crime for a mother to do that.
It is a crime to hook up with a child. Do not commit a crime. Do not participate in a crime.
It should be everyone’s goal to protect children and although the police have good intentions, their tactics leave a lot to be desired.
The real predators know better than to go on Craigslist Casual Encounters, and they know that any ad that even hints or pretends to be a young girl looking for experience, or sex, is really a police sting ad.
The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.
Never, no never, interact with anyone on the Internet that pretends to be 13 or 14 years old. Do not let temptation or curiosity get the best of you. Many lonely men drinking and sitting at home alone get sucked into saying stupid stuff on the Internet.
It is a second degree felony to travel to meet a minor for sex.
It is also a crime to send a penis pic to a minor.
Do not do it. Do not commit a crime.
Some of the recent sex stings also target child pornography.
I recently learned that the FBI actually took over a child porn site and ran it for a while allowing people to get kiddie porn from the site. Federal Courts are now looking into that.
If you are talking to someone on the Internet and they even hint that they are underage, break off contact immediately.
Do not try and be a vigilante. Let the police do their job. Hopefully the police monitor Craigslist and if they see a child there they will do something like contacting her parents. If there is any real mother out there trying to get someone to mentor or teach her child about sex, hopefully, the police will arrest her. The Internet is a dangerous place. We should all do our part to protect children. Parental controls on the computer is a huge first step. As a sex sting lawyer, my goal is to help people prevent crime. Crime prevention is the answer, not the creation of sex predators out of innocent men. Never, no never, email, text, skype or instant message a minor. There are plenty of adult women who want sex. Stick to adults and leave the kids alone. They don’t call it jail bait for nothing.