Cops targeting Gay Guys on Grinder in Sarasota

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense
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May 21 2018

Cops targeting Gay Guys on Grinder in Sarasota

From what I am hearing, there have been a bunch of arrests this weekend in Sarasota as a result of cops on Grinder pretending to be twinks baiting older guys with suggestive sexual innuendo.

When the guys travel they get busted for traveling to meet a minor to engage in sex after soliciting on the Internet.
The real issue is who is doing the real solicitation.
Is it the undercover twink chatter or is it the older guy? Only time will tell as these new cases work their way through the Court system. In the meantime, these guys sit with high bonds with literally the rest of their life on the line.

This answers the question of which applications the police are going to use to keep running the sex stings. Since Backpage.com and Craigslist Casual Encounters got shut down everyone has been wondering how it will affect the ICAC sex stings. Grinder unlike the prostitution sites is for consenting gay adults. Evidently, now with the prostitution sites taken down the police are going to have to settle for targeting gay guys. As a sex sting lawyer, in the past, only a tiny percentage of the men arrested were gay. This represents a major shift by law enforcement now going after the men on the remaining sites that have not been taken down.
If you are gay, and anyone even remotely suggests they are underage, do not even chat with them. You can get arrested for just talking, much less doing something. The best way not to get arrested is to not commit a crime. Never under any circumstances send a dick pic to anyone even remotely underage. A conviction for traveling to meet a minor can result in you becoming a registered sex offender and can destroy your life. Never text or chat with anyone that says they are remotely underage. If you plan on hooking up, demand proof of age. Do not assume that because they may say they are of legal age that they are. Demand a verified photo ID before you do anything. Do not assume that if you meet a young man in a bar that he is of legal age. Your life is at stake. AGE VERIFY ALWAYS.

Osceola 2016 Internet Sex Sting nets 10 arrests

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Peter D Aiken
Sex Sting Lawyer
Experienced Sex Crime Attorney
941-366-3506

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.

Okaloosa Internet Sex Sting Overdue

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Sex Sting Lawyer
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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.

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Summertime and the Arrests Come Easy…In Volusia

Peter D Aiken Sex Sting Lawyer Experienced Sex Crime Attorney 941-366-3506
Peter D Aiken
Sex Sting Lawyer
Experienced Sex Crime Attorney
941-366-3506

August 9 2016

Here we go again. When crime slows down for the summer, the police simply create offenses. An Internet sex sting will do the trick.

The latest just announced in Daytona and Deltona is called Operation K.I.S.S., as in kiss your ass goodbye if the police have their way.

The Volusia Sheriff and other agencies are at it again claiming to protect the public from online predators. Nothing could be further from the truth. Again they are targeting weak vulnerable men who were looking not for children, but adults. What the police neglect to report is that in almost every instance, they engaged the men first pretending to be an adult. After getting them to chat they then claimed to be underage, about 14 years old. They would then with subtle hints try and get the men to talk about sex or worse yet, send pictures.
This happens every summer. It is a sure fire way to pump up arrest statistics and get publicity. The sad thing is that these sex stings ruin lives. They destroy families and try and label men sex predators for life. If you become a registered sex offender, you experience a lifelong punishment. Being on sex offender probation is a one way ticket to jail. Everyone’s goal is to get you to violate your probation and put you in Florida State prison for years. As a sex sting lawyer, I see all too often the damage they do with basically trumped up entrapment cases.
It is true that occasionally they arrest someone for traveling to meet a minor or solicitation of a minor that really was looking for a minor. Those cases are few and far between. Most of the time they arrest young introverted shy men who are simply weak when it comes to temptation.

Sex is the ultimate bait. A man thinking with the wrong head, particularly when the police send pictures and invitations to come over and have sex, can find himself, arrested, on television and in Court facing a decade in prison. These cases are not hopeless. As a sex sting lawyer, I have handled well over thirty Florida Internet sex sting cases in Seminole, Volusia, Lee, Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. The key issue is “who is the real seducer”? Most of the time it is cops, and they are good at it.

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Manatee Sheriff finally announces Internet Sex Sting

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The latest version of Operation Green Shepherd, running for a week in the Bradenton area, has finally been made public.

There were eighteen arrests with several more to come according to the press release. Once again, the press release totally distorts the true facts about what the police are doing. The police are by now scraping the bottom of the barrel and arresting mentally challenged young men who because of learning disabilities, autism or other disorders fall for the bait and switch tactic. These men were not looking for underage girls to seduce. In almost every instance, they responded to adult profiles posted on Meetme.com or Craigslist Casual Encounters. The police engaged them in chat with texts, emails and ultimately phone calls. The undercover chatters, after first pretending to be an adult, then claimed to be 13 or 14 years old girls who would say things like, “boys my age just don’t do it for me”. They claimed to be seeking someone to give them sexual “experience” and lured and seduced the men. This is just the opposite of what the law was designed to do.
The real sex predators know better than to fall for this type of entrapment. What the Sheriff is now getting are the young, introverted and sometimes mentally challenged men whose chronological age far exceeds their mental age. Hopefully the State Attorney’s office will do the right thing and weed out the cases involving the mentally challenged.
It breaks my heart when I interview these young men and see the havoc these types of arrests bring to caring family members.
Even worse is thinking of how these young men would make it in State prison.
The mentally challenged men, or men with disabilities, face the horrors of becoming victims of rape and sodomy in prison.
I have yet to find one instance of an inmate being prosecuted for rape in the Florida prison system.
Most prison rapes are covered up and swept under the rug and never ever prosecuted.
So far, Ed Brodsky’s office has done a pretty good job of exercising discretion and resolving cases involving the very young.

Is this how you want your law enforcement resources spent?

While this Internet Sex Sting was running, there were homicides, burglaries, drug deals and other violent crimes. It generally takes about twenty officers to run a sting and the average cost to the taxpayers is $80,000, not including the money spent in prosecuting the cases. That is twenty officers that were taken off the street and diverted to essentially creating crime, instead of preventing or detecting it. It surely makes for good election propaganda but does nothing to protect the community. When the press release claims that children are being protected, it is a myth. Contact the Sheriff in Manatee and let him know what you think. As a sex sting lawyer, I will continue to fight against these outrageous wastes of our police resources.

As a Florida Sex Sting Lawyer and an experienced Sex Crime Attorney I have talked to and represented many of the arrested in these Internet sex sting cases. If you, a friend, son, brother, relative or loved one was arrested or under investigation in a sex sting operation and have questions or need an attorney to consult with or talk to them in the jail. Please call an experienced sex crime attorney.

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The latest Internet Sex Sting was carried out in Washington State. Most of the arrests were in the Spokane area.

The undercover detectives did this one a little different. The ad was on Craigslist and the catch phrase was “looking for young family fun”. According to the news reports the detectives in twenty days received over 1068 responses. The undercover chatter was posing as a mother offering her six and eleven year old daughters as well as her thirteen year old son. The police were shocked at the response of over 1000 people. The police also said more arrests may be in the pipeline. This sting was an apparent huge success so you can expect more to follow.

For years as a sex crime lawyer I have been blogging warning people about the dangers of the Internet, especially Craigslist Casual Encounters. I have repeated over and over, the best way not to get arrested is to not commit a crime. Many people out of curiosity respond to these ads and get drawn into chats and emails by enticing comments by undercover detectives. Sadly, many of the “sex stings” entrap unsuspecting young men. They are lured and enticed by officers that are “masters of deception”. In the latest sting, out of forty men arrested, only two had priors for sex offenses with minors. As a sex sting lawyer, I have seen many men arrested who have low IQ’s and learning disabilities. Many are introverted and lack self confidence and are easily led astray. Rarely do the police catch the real predators.

In many respects, the sex stings are like shark fishing where the fisherman puts out chum to attract sharks. The chum attracts little fish and for every shark caught, there are 20 small “throw back” fish brought in. The difference is that in fishing the “by catch” is thrown back whereas in the Sex stings they keep them all. These cases do have defenses and an experienced criminal lawyer can make a huge difference in the ultimate outcome.

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News of Operation Cyber Guardian finally breaks in Lee County

SEX STING LAWYER PETER D. AIKEN 941-366-3506 239-334-8890
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PETER D. AIKEN
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Just as I predicted days ago, the Lee County Sheriff’s office and the Cape Coral Police finally confirmed that another Internet sex sting operation was running.

The latest and most successful sex sting this year resulted in 21 arrests. What makes this sting a little unusual is the ages of the men arrested. Usually the police only trap (or entrap) young gullible men. This time the operation resulted in the arrest of men much older. Two of the men were in their seventies, one in his sixties, four in their forties and three in their thirties. It will be interesting to see which Internet applications were being targeted. Also it will be interesting to see if law enforcement targeted the LGBT community.

Most of the men are still in the Lee County jail on pretty high bonds.

As a sex sting lawyer, I track the sex stings around the country looking for trends in law enforcement. In the summer, it is a good way for the police to boost arrest statistics. I still feel our law enforcement manpower would be better spent luring and enticing potential terrorists rather that adult men looking to hook up with other adults. I am willing to bet that when the probable cause arrest reports become available the public will see that almost every one of the men arrested was on an adult site looking for another adult, not a child. Typically the police use a bait and switch tactic luring men who had no intention of hooking up with a minor. Time will tell. Over the last few years, I have represented men in over thirty different cases all around Florida. The police basically ignore the ICAC guidelines and do their own thing when it comes to entrapment.

Having good legal representation in the form of an experienced sex crime lawyer can make a huge difference. The Internet is a dangerous place. This is particularly true when it comes to Internet dating. You can believe nothing you see on your computer or smart phone. Sadly, many men find this out too late.If you need help for a loved one call an experienced criminal defense attorney

 

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April Fools no Joke in Polk County

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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.

 

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Latest Sex Sting in Seattle

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In Seattle, six men were just arrested in yet another Internet sex sting. The ages ranged from twenty to over sixty and the occupations varied including a fireman, a real estate broker and a Boeing employee. Details of the arrests are at this point unknown. In the media reports, the police claim that the men “wanted to rape little children”. My bet is that when the facts come out, it is the police undercover officers that were offering children or first posting adult profiles on adult hookup sites. What never gets publicized in the media is the true story. So far, there have been twenty seven men arrested in the greater Seattle area on child sex charges.
As a sex sting lawyer, I have handled dozens of cases where the police do the basic bait and switch. They first post on Craigslist or one of the similar hookup sites as an adult and they try and trick someone into traveling to meet a minor. In all of the cases I have handled so far, I have yet to see any real children actually contacted. In every case, it has been police aggressively seeking men in adult sites, men that were looking for a casual encounter with an adult, not a child. Time will tell as to what the facts are in these latest six arrests.
All across America, police departments are jumping on the Internet sex sting bandwagon. It is easy to generate a crime and generate publicity. The true issue in most of the cases is who is doing the luring and seducing. The police are highly skilled at entrapping and baiting unsuspecting lonely men who were really seeking adult companionship. Everyone should try and keep kids off these hookup sites. If you ever see what purports to be a child on Craigslist, flag it and report it to the police. Prevention, not entrapment is the answer. Men’s lives are destroyed forever with just and arrest, not to mention a conviction. Hopefully, when the facts come out, the true story of what happened in the latest Seattle sting will come out.  As an experienced sex crime attorney, I have handled over 3 dozen of these traveling to meet a minor for sex after communication on the internet and will be glad to talk about possible options in your case.
If you or a loved one was arrested in this latest 2016 Seattle internet sex sting and have questions about being investigated on suspicion of several charges, including child rape, commercial sex abuse of a minor and child pornography, that need answers call a sex crime attorney immediately

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Fifth District Court of Appeal upholds dismissal in Sex Sting case today

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
941-366-3506

There was some good news in Sex Sting cases today. In a Brevard case, the appeals court has upheld the lower Court ruling dismissing a case in involving an attempted sex sting. The higher court affirmed the lower court without a detailed opinion. In this case, one I actually handled at the lower court, the undercover cop posted a profile on Plenty 0 Fish posing as a nineteen year old woman. The defendant, also on Plenty O Fish posted pretending to be a 25 year old man. Both were lying. They chatted for a while and ultimately, after some sexually explicit general questions, the defendant terminated contact and “blocked” further communication. The undercover detective (Spadafora) frustrated that the defendant would not meet, or even ask for sex then went to the defendants house, pretending to be looking for a girl gone missing after the chats. The defendant apologized simply saying no one believed it was real.
The judge at the hearing on the motion to dismiss commented that this was nothing more than two adults lying to each other. The defendant never asked to meet or travel. The undercover detective had posted a picture of an adult with an adult profile. In this case, there was no actual travel to meet and there was no real solicitation for sex. The undercover detective had posted a picture of an adult with an adult profile. In this case, there was no actual travel to meet and there was no real solicitation for sex.
The State was of the opinion that talking dirty is a crime, even if there is no real solicitation. Thank goodness the Court disagreed. After the dismissal by the lower Court, Michael Gelety handled the appeal and the defendant finally prevailed. It took two years but in the long run, justice did prevail. As a sex sting lawyer, it is encouraging to see that finally some of the appeal Courts are getting a handle on what the police are really doing. Our thanks to Jason Hicks a spectacular Brevard criminal defense lawyer whose hard work and diligence set up the legal issues, and Michael Fayard a Sarasota lawyer whose research greatly contributed to our success. It was a great team effort start to finish. There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of sex stings in Florida. Now, instead of big operations with “take down” houses the police are working smaller individual cases. Many of the investigations now focus on child porn. Grady Judd is still however running stings, now targeting prostitution. My bet is that the world’s oldest profession will outlast Grady Judd. Prostitution has been here since the beginning of time and before. Female Chimpanzees are known to trade sex for food and favors. Maybe when Grady Judd runs out of people to arrest he can go after the monkeys.
If you want to talk about a sex sting arrest, call a sex crime lawyer