Are the Police the true Predators?

As a Florida sex crime lawyer, I have a unique perspective on the Internet Sex Sting arrests.  Having handled 42 such cases, and an interesting pattern jumps out at me.  Although the police claim they are making the County safe for children and claim they are arresting predators, nothing could be further from the truth.  Out of the 42 men I have represented, only two were men even remotely interested in Children.  Three were Autistic.  Many more were shy, introverted, socially inept and some, what I would describe to be as “slow”.  Many did not meet the legal definition of “insantity” . Most were what I would describe as the low hanging fruit.  Most were manipulated by savvy undercover police chatters who did the classic bait and switch and after posting as adults then claiming to be a 14 year old girl.

Technology is a dangerous thing.  Many of the dating applications have a GPS (global positioning application) which randomly matches profiles based on geographic proximity.  In other words, if a guy has posted looking for an adult 18-23 and the cops post (falsely) as a 21 year old woman, the application will match them up.  The man, clearly is not looking for a child, but the cops, by posting first as an adult, get a random match with the man looking for an adult.  The undercover chatters then do the “switch” claiming to be underage.

When the man balks or is hesitant, the undercover chatters will say things like” I’m sorry, I lied, but I really like older guys” or “I am looking for someone to teach me”.  Some clever chatters even claim to have had experience with other older guys.  This is entrapment and the cops are doing more than offering “opportunity”

Sex sting cases are defensible if you have a sex crime attorney experienced in defending these particular types of cases.  The police now are posting on “escort” sites where men are clearly looking for an adult. This is particularly true in Polk County and other central Florida Counties.  After pretending to be a prostitute, the undercover chatters again claim to be underage.  The police are not catching the true predators.  The police are the true predators.

These types of cases are destroying the lives of men who had no intention of hooking up with an underage person.  Sadly, many prosecutors are going along with this type of misguided law enforcement.  It makes for easy statistics and easy convictions and gives the false impression that children are being protected.

I try and warn the parents of young Autistic men.  Do not let you child fall victim to this type of police predation.  If you have a brother, a nephew or someone dear to you, be sure they know the dangers of the Internet.  The police are targeting the dating hookup applications that use GPS.  I try and warn people that if ever someone mentions they are underage, immediately terminate and block the other party.  The best way to not get arrested it to not commit a crime.  There are no young girls that want any older guy to teach them anything.  It is always the police. Do not be weak.  Do not succumb to temptation.  Demand proof of real age in any Internet dating situation.  Never have sex with anyone underage.

They don’t call it jail bait for nothing

If you have been arrested it is not too late to challenge the police conduct.  Attorneys are not cheap and the public defender may sound like a bargain, but do you want a bargain lawyer?  The decision you make in hiring a lawyer should not be based on advertising alone.  Check out the lawyer and the representations or claims he may make.  Ask him or her how many actual sting cases have been handled.  Look at the results.  Each case has unique facts and each defendant is unique.  Make an informed decision in hiring the person you want standing next to you in court.

Is there another Internet Sex Sting running in Sarasota?

Every indication is that men are being arrested over the last few days here in Sarasota.  The best way to not get arrested is to never, no never, chat or text with anyone underageThe best way to not get charged with a crime is to not fall for the bait and switch Internet sex stings run regularly here in Sarasota and Manatee County.

It is late Summer, and the police and Sheriff’s department need the arrest statistics.  It takes money to run a real sex sting and they need to make arrests and seize vehicles.  Men out of loneliness and curiosity find themselves texting and chatting with undercover officers and some even travel to meet a minor at take down houses.  Here is the bottom line.  There are no real 14 or 15 year old girls that want to hook up with some older guy.

The undercover chatters troll the dating sites like “” and these sting cases all start with a lieThe police lie to the application and post a profile claiming they are 18 or older. The police start by violating the terms of use and lie about their age claiming to be an adult.  Once someone responds they say something like “I have to be honest with you, I am really 14”.  The problem is, they are not being honest.  Everything is a lie.  They lie about being 18.  They lie about being 14.  They lie about their intentions and they suck guys into chatting and get them to talk about sexIt is all one big con, the purpose of which is to get some guy who was looking for an adult, interested in a 14 year old.  The undercover chatters are master of deception and masters at entrapping lonely introverted guys.  Never, no never chat or text with anyone that cannot positively prove they are an adult.  There are no young girls on the Internet that want some older guy to teach them anything.  It is all a hustle by the police to talk someone into doing something they would never otherwise do.

There is a myth that if you ask a police undercover detective “Are you a cop”, that they have to tell the truth.  Of course they don’t.  That is why they call them undercover cops.  Do not fall for a bait and switch I have handled over 40 Internet sex stings and in 90% of the cases, the person arrested had zero interest in a child and was basically talked into it by very savvy undercover chatters.  My suggestion is never talk to anyone under age and demand that the adult prove they are an adult.  In my opinion a better use of police resources would be in educating parents and in reaching out to the kids in school warning them of the real predators.  Crime prevention, not crime creation is the answer.  The police are supposed to be here to “protect and serve”, not to lie and create crimes to “solve”

If you ever hear “I am too young to drive” or “I can’t drink alcohol” terminate all conversation.  The police here in Sarasota are now arresting people who only chat and later do not even travel to meet a minor Just chatting and texting can get you arrested.  Never chat or text with anyone even remotely underage.  Some people reading this may be reading it too late.  If you have a relative arrested in this latest Sarasota Internet Sex Sting, do not abandon them You do not know the facts yet.  They can be falsely accused.

The Sarasota Sheriff’s Department regularly runs these stings and then conceals the arrests by having the Sheriff not post them daily.  They get a special order to exempt making this a public record.  When you read the actual arrest reports,  later in the criminal cases, the real truth comes out.  Many young men, some with mental defects fall for this.  I have represented Autistic young men who simply do not know better.  I have represented mentally challenge men with disabilities that have affected their judgment. A conviction will make a person a sex offender and put them in State prison.  These cases often have very valid defenses.  The police may have engaged in “Entrapment” or other improper conduct.  The person arrested may have a mental or psychological defense.  They may have been impaired by some type of disorder.  Many times, the punishment sought by the prosecutors greatly exceeds the harm.  There is no real victim in this type of case.  Many times, the greatest harm is a person gets arrested for something they would never otherwise have done but for the police conductI try to educate the public on the real truth about sex stings, but sadly, many men learn it too late.

Sex Addiction and the Internet….A deadly combination

Sex Sting Lawyer
Attorney Peter D Aiken
Sarasota 941-366-3506
Defending Sex Sting arrests throughout Florida
Manatee 941-366-3506
Charlotte County 941-639-6009
Lee and Collier County
All Counties in FL call 941-366-3506

“Operation Cyber Guardian Fall Haul” from Oct. 2 through Oct. 7 2018

They just ran another Internet sex sting in Polk County. Grady Judd was on television again telling the voters how he is keeping the children of Polk County safe from sexual predators. No matter how many times they run the sex stings, no matter how many times it makes the evening news, people still are getting arrested. The Internet is a dangerous place. You can get addicted to chatting, hooking up for casual sex or simply engaging in “fantasy chat”.
Are you old enough to remember the ads on television for the phone sex operators? The operators would keep guys on the line for hours billing them by the minute. Talking dirty was a turn on. The guys would be jerking off while they talked. The Internet has changed all that. Now people “chat” with each other in chat rooms or use Instagram or Skype to engage in fantasy sex. They think it is harmless because it is anonymous. What they do not realize is that undercover detectives are out there trying to temp people into actually living out that fantasy. The undercover chatters are good at what they do. They will compliment the guy. They will pretend they are interested in being taught about sex.

Even if the guy is looking for an adult hookup, the cops will try and temp him into doing something he would never do, that is, have sex with a minor.

There is a difference between being a predator looking for kids and being a weak easily manipulated lonely guy. I have handled over forty sex sting cases. In the majority of them, the defendant fits a profile. They are mostly single, mostly insecure and in some instances mentally or emotionally challenged. That is why they fall for the bait and switch undercover chatters.

Do you have a brother, a father, or close friend or relative who has been  arrested for traveling to meet a minor?I am willing to bet he fits the profile. People get addicted to the Internet. It is called Internet addiction. People also can become sex addicts. I have handled a lot of child pornography cases where guys sit at a computer for hours staring at kiddie porn. It is hard for us to understand, but this is an addiction. Sadly the State does not realize this is an addiction. The State want to put them in prison forever and make them registered sex offenders. There are defenses to these types of cases. In some cases it is damage control. Do not abandon a friend or relative or assume they are hopelessly guilty


Sex Sting in Jacksonville nets 17 Arrests

Peter D Aiken
Sex Sting Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense



September 5 2018

Operation D.U.V.A.L, an Internet sex sting run by the Duval County Sheriff’s office, this week resulted in the arrest of seventeen men for purportedly targeting children on the Internet.

The details of the arrest are not yet posted, and all we have so far is the law enforcement “spin” on what really happened. Were the men really seeking children or were law enforcement detectives working in an undercover capacity seeking men with bait and switch ads on social media sites? Often, there is an incentive for the police agencies to produce results if they have taken federal money or grants from ICAC. It will be interesting to see which social media sites were used now that Craigslist casual encounters and have been taken down.
In St. Johns County, in the last sting, police were posting on adult escort sites and then running the “bait and switch” claiming or pretending to then be minors. The Internet is a dangerous place for children but it is also a dangerous place for lonely men. Over the years, I have represented a number of intellectually challenged men with autism who fall for the police entrapment techniques. What I have learned is that you cannot believe the press reports put out by the various Sheriff’s departments. When you actually look into the facts and the evidence of what really happened, many times it is the police doing the luring, seducing and enticing. The police will first pretend to be an adult woman, posting on an adult site. When they get a response, in the first three or four chats, they will say “I am really 14”. Many men continue with the chat out of curiosity.The undercover detectives will pretend to be a 13 or 14 year old trying to lure the men into traveling and meeting.

Curiosity killed the cat!

The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime. If you stumble into this type of situation, never, no never travel to meet a minor. If someone on a social media site even hints they are underage, terminate all texting and chat. The police will arrest you for even chatting or texting with a minor, even if you do not travel. The world is full of adult women anxious to have sex (just like men). Don’t even think about hooking up with a kid. There are no teen age girls out there that want someone to “teach them about sex”. It is always a cop, always! They don’t call it jail bait for nothing.


Internet Stings and the Intellectually Disabled

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense

August 18 2018


Not a month goes by in Florida than some Sheriff or local police department runs one of their Internet sex stings. In almost every sting intellectually disabled men get arrested. Many of them have a disability within the Autistic spectrum. What the police and prosecutors do not understand is that a person with Autism often does not appear to be disabled. They often can navigate the Internet, drive and hold jobs. What they lack are the social skills and most often judgment. They are easily manipulated by savvy detectives trying to make arrests and cases.
The police will post on various social media and dating sites pretending to be an adult, often with suggestive posts like get me pregnant. They will engage the lonely and socially awkward man with suggestive chat and after getting him interested then tell him that they are 14 or 15 years old. The police as part of their bait and switch entrapment techniques will often send a picture of a smiling suggestively posed female. They provide the autistic man with visual and verbal cues and often lure them into traveling to a take down location. After arresting them, they intimidate them into making statements totally taken out of context. To the police, the disabled man is an easy target. The truly sad thing is that many prosecutors do not understand Autism. They confuse the issue of Autism and legal competence and end up prosecuting the Autistic defendant and making them ultimately become registered sex offenders.
Many criminal defense attorneys sadly do not understand this disability and are clueless as to how to defend an autistic or mentally challenged defendant. It is the defense attorneys job to often educate the Judge and the prosecutor. In many jurisdictions like Sarasota and Manatee County, many of the judges come straight out of the prosecutors office, and having never represented a real human being, are unaware and uneducated when it comes to men with this disability. The intellectually disabled are the low hanging fruit and easily lured into compromising situations by police with ICAC grants seeking to justify funds received.
If you have an Autistic child or relative that has become a victim in one of these stings, make sure you hire a criminal defense lawyer experienced in defending the intellectually disabled. Their life is tough enough without being given the label of registered sex offender. I have handled over forty sex sting cases and in my experience I have found that about 20% involve men that have intellectual disabilities or judgment issues that have not been previously diagnosed. Many were special education students in grade and high school and although not legally incompetent are socially incompetent and easily entrapped.





Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense


Has a loved one or relative been arrested in an Internet sex sting operation? Do you want a lawyer with knowledge and experience in defending cases from sex sting operations? Many criminal defense lawyers claim extensive experience in sex crime defense. Few actually have it.
Peter Aiken, the sex sting lawyer, has defended over thirty Internet sex sting cases throughout Florida has a hands on working knowledge of what law enforcement is actually doing.

If a relative or loved on was arrested for a sex related crime do not assume they are guilty.

The truth about Sex Stings:

Most of the sex stings target young gullible men in adult dating sites. Law enforcement trolls adult dating sites posing as another adult. After tricking men into chatting, with bait and switch tactics, they change the age and lure and seduce men who had no intention of interacting with a child into continuing to chat, text and sometimes meet. Entrapment is a Defense

Ask yourself these questions:

Were you in an adult site looking for an adult?

Did you respond to an adult profile?

Did they contact you on a dating site?

Did they initially lie about age?

Did they bring up sex or talk suggestively?

Did they invite you over or suggest a meeting?

Did they prey on your loneliness?

Being weak, lonely, inexperienced or gullible is not a crime.

The truth is that many of the sex sting operations are politically motivated by local Sheriffs that want publicity when it comes to reelection. Sex stings also generate money in terms of car forfeitures, fines and costs. Public humiliation and lifetime registration as a sex offender is the result. Do not give up without a fight, and have a real fighter in your corner.

Speak with the lawyer that will handle your case



Is the gay sex sting still running in Sarasota

Attorney Peter D Aiken
Aiken O’Halloran and Foley
Sarasota 941-366-3506
Ft Myers 239-334-8890
Experienced Sex Sting Defense Attorneys

May 26 2018

Is the gay sex sting still running in Sarasota


For the past week the sheriff here in Sarasota has been running an Internet Sex Sting targeting gay men. There have been 18 arrests that have mostly been not reported on the official records. When the stings are running and people are being arrested, the sheriff and the clerk of Court do not allow the information to get out. This makes it really tough for the guys that get arrested to contact relatives or bondsmen. You have a right to an attorney, but if you are sitting in the Sarasota jail, they dont make contacting an attorney very easy. That is why initially, most of the men have the public defender appointed. As the men are bonded out, those that can afford it seek private defense attorneys.

So far, only one out of eighteen men has been able to hire their own personal attorney.

The right to an attorney is an important constitutional right. For that right to mean anything at all, it is important for the attorney to know what he is doing and important the he be able to effectively represent his client. In that regard, experience is a big deal. Not all lawyers handle a lot of sex crime cases. Not all lawyers really understand how these sex stings are run by the police. I have done over 40 of the sex sting cases all over FloridaIt is critical for the lawyer to understand the law when it comes to entrapment. It is critical for the attorney to understand the State Attorneys policy when it comes to sex stings. It is critical for the attorney to understand the Internet, the computer programs and the methods the police use to lure unsuspecting men into compromising situations.

There are defenses to these types of cases

Sadly, many of the men arrested sometimes are mentally challenged. Sometimes it may rise to the level of legal incompetence (if they have autism) and sometimes it is a mitigating factor, depending on the degree of the intellectual disability. The lawyer absolutely has to understand the law and the procedure when it comes to raising legal issues with respect to incompetency.

It is critical that family and friends not abandon those charged in internet sex stings. You cannot believe what you see and hear on television when the press release is finally made. The Sheriff will always say that we are keeping the children of Sarasota safe. What they do not report is the fact that most of the time, they are creating a crime, not detecting or preventing one. There were 16 men arrested in Lee County (Ft. Myers) and once again, it was a gay sting. This has to be a bad week for the gay community with 34 men being arrested


Cops targeting Gay Guys on Grinder in Sarasota

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense

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 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.

Is there another sex sting running now in Sarasota ?

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer
Experienced in Sex Crime Defense

May 2018

Is there another sex sting running now in Sarasota?

Sarasota is long overdue for anotherInternet Sex sting. Now that Craigslist Casual Encounters has been taken down and now that has been shut down it will be interesting to see how law enforcement entices men to respond to their ICAC investigations. My bet is that they will be using the smart phone applications like Tinder, snapchat and other dating sites like or Right now, May 21st, if things go as usual, the Sheriffs department will be blocking the release of public information and denying the men their right to an attorney by not allowing them to make outgoing calls to family, friends or even an attorney. I fully expect that there will be a press release today or one day this week. Time will tell.

As a sex crime lawyer, I have defended over forty sex sting cases all over Florida. I am curious to see what tool the undercover chatters will be using to entice men totravel to meet a minor. The usual charge is unlawful use of a computer to solicit a minor or traveling to meet a minor after using a computer to solicit a minor”. For years I have blogged telling both men and women the best way to not get arrested is to never communicate with anyone that ever even hints they are underage. In the stings, typically, the undercover chatters claim to be adults and then when the chat gets going they say something like I am sorry, dont be mad, but I am really 14. They try and sucker the guys into continuing the chat with enticing hints that they are really old for my age or they like older guys. Sadly, over the years I have found that the men who fall for this are insecure and sometimes autistic or mentally challenged.

Do you have a husband brother or father you have not heard from in days? Have you checked to see if they are in jail? Until the sting breaks, they may not be able to call. I will be following this over the next few days to see if the sting is really running and see how many guys get entrapped.


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Trump Signs New Law Targeting the Sex Trade

Peter D Aiken
Sex Crime Lawyer

April 13 2018

On Wednesday, the President signed into law the“Fosta” Bill imposing criminal penalties on Internet companies permitting prostitution ads on their sites.

This comes just seven days after the executives at were raided and arrested. Some are already entering guilty pleas in multiple State and Federal prosecutions. For Backpage, it was a 100 million dollar business. There are some good and bad things about the law. Craigslist has already taken down their “personals” section. This is going to take a huge bite out the ability of prostitutes to ply their trade via the Internet. This is also going to take away a huge tool used by law enforcement to identify human traffickers and people who have an interest in sex with children. The law in one respect is good, but in another bad in that it takes away the ability of law enforcement to track and identify pedophiles.

I have advocated for the legalization of prostitution in Florida. That would be a far better solution. Prostitution will never stop. It is the world’s oldest profession. Sensible regulation as opposed to criminalization, in my opinion, is a better solution.

The “Fosta” law will now be used to next target the “Escort” business here in Sarasota. Go online now and click on “Sarasota Escort” and see how many sites are up. My bet is that in thirty days, 90% of them will be gone. The “escorts” will now go to the social media dating sites and the dark web to place their advertisements. They will not go away, they will just be harder to find. This is going to push the prostitutes back into the bars and on the streets. It actually makes their business more dangerous. My prediction is that in the short term there will be a flood of high end prostitutes in the high end bars like the Ritz. Time will tell.