The sheriff in Polk County has announced the arrest of another forty people in the latest Internet sex sting. Again the undercover officers have targeted people in adult sites. These people were looking for relationships with adults. In classic bait and switch operations, the officers first certify on entering the sites like Craigslist that they are over 18. After getting people to respond they will casually throw in the comment that they are really only 13 or 14. These officers run “chat houses” where they sit for hours trying to get otherwise law abiding people to engage in sexual chat and innuendo. Their ultimate goal is to induce and lure people into traveling to meet what they think is a minor.
Polk County gets a Federal grant to fund these operations. That is why so many of them are run. They work in conjunction with the Central Florida Task Force which is composed on members of law enforcement from many counties and police agencies. The big issue in most of the cases is that of Entrapment. Who is actually doing the seducing and luring? In Manatee County earlier this month, two cases from “Operation Green Shepherd” were thrown out based on the Court’s finding that young men were entrapped as a matter of law.
As an attorney handling sex crime cases for over thirty years, I can tell you that many of the sex sting cases have valid defenses and no one should give up hope. There is a terrible downside to being convicted of traveling to meet a minor or solicitation of a minor. If convicted you face at least 42 months in State prison, not to mention being labeled a sex offender for life. Having to register as a felon and a sex offender is a situation that will follow you for life. It is a lifetime punishment. I have defended sex crime cases in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Seminole, Orange and Polk County for years. Call today for a free consultation at my Sarasota office. You can visit my website devoted to sex offenses at thesexoffenderdefender.com or call for a free consultation at 941 366 3506
My job is not to judge you, My job is to defend you. For compassionate aggressive and competent representation call for an appointment.