A couple of weeks ago I predicted there would be another Internet sex sting here in Sarasota.
The police have wised up and now when they run a sex sting they delay making it public and conceal the arrests. If the police were truly interested in preventing crime instead of creating it, they would have a loud and vocal presence on the Internet. They would advertise the fact that they are trolling Meetme.com and Adam4Adam.com and Craigslist casual encounters.
The best way to prevent crime is through education.
They need to let the moms and dads know what their daughters are up to. Parents should be the gatekeepers. The computer with access to the Internet should be in the living room, not in the kid’s bedroom. There should be parental controls. Craigslist has about thirty parental controls they suggest you install. What needs to happen is a media campaign by the Sheriff’ office warning pedophiles to stay off the Internet.
What is really happening is the entrapment of lots of young immature men.
These sex sting cases do more harm than good. It pumps up the arrest statistics and it makes good press but does nothing to truly protect kids. The press releases are totally misinformation.
If the Sarasota Sheriff spent a fraction of what they spend on a sex sting in educating middle school kids, the potential for a real interaction between a child and a predator would be greatly reduced.
These sex stings are totally ineffective.
It makes money for the bondsmen and it gets votes for the Sheriff and the State Attorney but it does absolutely nothing when it comes to preventing sex crimes in Sarasota. My heart goes out to the families of the men arrested in this latest Sarasota sex sting.
The men will lose their jobs.
Most will have high bonds set.
They will be facing the possibility of State prison as well as sex offender registration.
Personally, as a sex crime lawyer, a former prosecutor myself, and as a veteran criminal defense attorney, I thing that true prevention is the answer. We should have learned something from the war on drugs. The police still don’t get it.
I have been involved is over three dozen sex sting defenses. Some of these cases can be beaten. They can be won in front of a jury. The public is finally getting wise to what the police are really doing.