In light of the fact that Polk County just ran a sting with forty two arrests you can expect that the Sheriff in Manatee and the Sheriff in Sarasota will soon follow suit. We usually see sex sting cases right around Valentine’s day so we are a week overdue for another sting here. In the Polk sting, the Sheriff’s office focused on child pornography with great success.
I cannot impress upon you too much how terrible the penalties are, particularly here in Sarasota County.
The State is enhancing all the third degree felonies to second degree charges and running the guidelines through the roof when it comes to State prison time.
The best way to not get arrested is to stay away from the peer to peer sharing programs and more importantly, never, no never download or view kiddie porn. You can end up doing more time for looking at a video of a thirteen year old than actually having sex with a 13 year old. The State attorney in Manatee and Sarasota has a scorched earth policy and files dozens of charges running the Florida sentencing guidelines up to thirty to fifty years, for just viewing a video. If you are on the Internet and anyone ever asks you to send child pornography to them, do not do it. In thesex stings, the cops will engage a person in chat and then suggest an exchange ofchild pornography. Never do that. Nothing good comes of ever viewing an underage person engaged in sex. Most of the time, you will end up in prison for letting curiosity get the best of you.
There is a scam running now on the Internet.
If you are on PlentyOfish.com or Craigslist.com a woman claiming at first to be an adult will get you to exchange dirty pics. She will send you a sexually explicit vagina pic and ask you to send her a dick pic. When you do fall for this, you will get a later text, email or call from someone pretending to be a detective. The “detective” will tell you that you have been communicating with a minor and offer you a “diversion” program for a fee. This is a money hustle and a scam. As a sex crime criminal defense lawyer I get calls almost every week from men who have been contacted by someone pretending to be a cop. Real cops do not do that so if you get a call like that, terminate the call and block future texts emails and calls from that person
Colorado Jumps on Sex Sting Bandwagon
Law enforcement is Colorado Springs announced this month the culmination of a two month nationwide sex sting operation called “Operation Broken Heart II”. In Colorado, the sex sting operation resulted in 42 arrests for a variety of sex crime offenses. As usual, the announcement said it target child predators. This latest operation seemed to include an unusual number of child pornography cases. There seems to be a trend in the sex crime arrests slowly focusing more on kiddie porn creation, sharing and transmission. The State can legitimately argue that there is genuine harm to the victims, those children who are the victims of sexual battery during the creation of the photos or videos. Florida Child Pornography Arrests
Here in Florida, I can say for sure that I have seen a trend towards more and more child pornography arrests. This is particularly true when it comes to peer to peer file sharing programs. Law enforcement now has some really sophisticated techniques when it comes to identifying people who receive and share images of children engaged in sex. The courts have really ramped up the penalties and many judges are handing out long sentences. If a person is convicted, at sentencing, particularly here in Sarasota County, you can expect the State to file a “victim impact statement” from some of the people in the videos who have now been identified. Even if a person had nothing to do with making the video, and the photograph or video was made 10 years ago, the prosecutors here in Sarasota will argue for harsh punishment.
There are technical defenses to child pornography cases. The State still has to prove possession. A confession is still their best evidence, particularly when the computer is found in a jointly occupied home. For that reason, if you are contacted by law enforcement or if a search warrant is executed on your residence, it is important for you to exercise your right ot remain silent. Do not try and talk your way out of a bad situation, it will only make things worse. If you hear the words, “you have a right to an attorney”, exercise that right and terminate the interview. Tell the police, “I want to talk to a lawyer”. They are supposed to terminate the questioning. No matter what, make no further statements and seek immediate counsel with asex crime lawyer. If you are under investigation or have been the subject of a search warrant, call 941 366 3506 and ask to speak to Attorney Peter D Aiken for a free consultation today.