Are the Police still running Internet Sex Stings?

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Are the Police still running Internet Sex Stings?
The answer to that is a resounding yes. They have changed the tactics slightly but the stings continue all across Florida. The FDLE has shifted the focus to child pornography but on a local level it is the same old same old. If you go on under the escort section, chances are if you respond to an ad, you are texting and chatting with an undercover detective. God forbid you are tempted to hook up and make a date, you run the risk of getting arrested. Worse yet, the police, posing as prostitutes will try and convert the misdemeanor prostitution charge to a felony by telling you that the hooker is really only 15. They will bait you into traveling to meet a minor simply to create a felony and take your car in a forfeiture proceeding. They regularly pose as Korean “massage” specialists and then to the bait and switch claiming to be underage. Remember, the best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.
If anyone on the Internet even remotely suggests they are a minor, terminate all contact, flag the posting walk away. Do not let some undercover officer talk you into doing something you would never do. The truth is, there are no young girls on the Internet who “need experience” or a “teacher”. All of those ads are police entrapment situations. You may start off talking with what you think is an adult only to be told that “I lied, I am really 14”. Do not get sucked into continuing to chat or text. Everyone’s goal is to protect kids. If you see ads like this, flag them. The police should be targeting their efforts on keeping real kids off the Internet, not talking adult men into compromising situations. If you are on, the application may match you up with what you think is a consenting adult. If they even suggest and underage encounter, stop all communication. In the past few years, I have handled 29 Internet sex sting cases. In almost 80% of them my client actually asked the chatter if they were the police. What do you expect them to say? Wake up….That is why they call them undercover officers. The police are under no legal duty to admit they are cops. I don’t know why people believe this.
They recently ran a sting in Manatee County and we are overdue for another one here in Sarasota. Grady Judd in Polk runs them almost every month. The Internet is a dangerous place and hooking up on Craigslist casual encounters or through KIK chatting can lead to a bad situation. You can get robbed or even worse hurt. You can get arrested…Do not do it.
If you are reading this too late, Call my Sarasota law office at 941 366 3506.


Winning a Traveler Case

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Can a Traveling to Meet a Minor Case be won at Trial?
There is no question but that these cases are very tough in front of a jury. That does not mean they are impossible. Every case where the allegations involve solicitation of a minor or seduction of a minor invoke negative emotions in jurors. It is for that very reason that jury selection is one of the most important phases of the trial. Over the years, as a Sarasota criminal defense attorney that I have devoted so much attention to the jury selection process. Last year, I tried several cases in Sarasota where the nature of the offense involved minors. When the jurors were first read the charge by the judge you could see the reaction in their faces and body language. It is critical to overcome the negativity early in the trial process.
The jury needs to understand that being falsely accused of Internet solicitation of a minor is just as bad as solicitation of a minor. Being falsely accused is a terrible thing and the jury needs to be made aware of that fact. The prosecutors count on the fact that the jurors will be prejudiced against you. You have to overcome that prejudice early in the voir dire process.
You also have to have a solid theory of defense. It is not enough to simply deny the offense and put the State to their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If you intend to use entrapment, you better be able to establish it. You need to establish that law enforcement induced you into doing something you would not normally do. The issue ultimately becomes predisposition. Were you predisposed to engage in sex with a minor or was this an idea that was created in the mind of the undercover officer? You need to examine carefully the emails and chat exchanges. Were you in a site like Craigslist Casual Encounters that is designated as an adult site? Did the police lie about their age? Did the undercover chatter disclose age in the first few communications? Did the chatter bring up the idea of sex? Did the police chatter tell you about other sexual contacts she had? Did you break off communication? Did the police reinitiate contact with a text? Did the police say something like “are you mad at me”? The ultimate issue is “Who is doing the real seducing”?
Every case is fact specific and no two cases are the same. I have been involved in approximately twenty of these cases in the last two years and there is a pattern to what the cops are doing on the Internet. They are the ones actually pursuing a hookup. They are the ones inviting travel. They are the ones pushing a meeting.
Not all attorneys are experienced in these types of cases and it is critical to know how to effectively attack the police witnesses on the issue of entrapment. If you or a loved one have a Internet sex sting case you can call for a free consultation 941-366-3506.  As a Sarasota sex crime lawyer, I have devoted a substantial portion of my practice to defending these cases Statewide.

Stopping Crime or Creating Crime?

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In almost every Internet Sex sting case I have handled in the last four years (29 of them) the police claim that they are on the Internet and are contacted by sex predators looking to hook up with children. The police pose as parents offering their children for sex. They pretend to be mothers who want someone to teach their daughter about sex or single dads who want a man to teach their daughter. They justify this by claiming that Internet sex with children is rampant and they are catching men that are preying on children. This simply is a false claim and really only a justification to create arrests. Grady Judd of Polk County is the biggest offender when it comes to this public misinformation. The Sheriff in Volusia County has now jumped on board and Sheriffs all around Florida claim the same.
The real question is whether or not the police are interrupting ongoing crime or are they creating it? Over the next several months I will be requesting public records in the cases I am now handling to document the false claims by the police. This can become important if an attorney is arguing objective entrapment. Is there a financial motive for the FDLE, the Sheriff of Manatee County or the Sheriff of Sarasota County to make sex sting cases? Has there ever been a legitimate case of a parent offering a child in Manatee County? We will see. If not, then this bolsters the argument that law enforcement is creating crime not detecting it.
The simple fact is that most jurors have a basic misconception of what is really going on. Jurors believe that the police are doing the right thing catching real pedophiles. They really do not understand what is really behind the explosion of sex offender arrests. True Internet sex crime has not increased. It fact it has gone down.  As an internet sex sting attorney,What has increased dramatically in the last five years is the effectiveness of police entrapment. They know just what to say to entrap otherwise law abiding citizens into chatting, sexting and interacting with undercover officers on the Internet. Sex stings are big business for the cops. To catch real sex predators it takes time and effort to build a case. It is far simpler and cheaper to create a crime. There is not a week that goes by that there is not a sex sting going on somewhere in Florida. The truth needs to come out and as a sex crime attorney, I will do my part to expose it. If a loved one has been arrested and you think the police created the crime we need to prove it. Men arrested in these cases are presumed guilty. Family member should not abandon them. Being weak or giving in to temptation is not a crime. Call today for a free consultation at 941 366 3506