In the second Internet sex sting in as many weeks, twelve men were arrested by Sheriff’s deputies in St. Johns County in April of 2016. Florida leads the nation in running sex stings where undercover deputies try and talk men into meeting with minors for sexual acts. The police describe these types of stings as proactive law enforcement. I would describe it differently. As an experienced sex crime attorney, I have now been involved in over thirty sex sting cases where police post on the Internet trying to lure men into compromising situations. In almost every case, it is the police that are doing the luring and seducing. In many cases, it is the police that make first contact. In many cases, it is the police that post suggestive profiles or make suggestive comments. In many of the cases, the men try and break off contact only to be contacted repeatedly by the undercover cops trying to lure them back in. In many cases, it is the police that ask men to bring condoms, snacks or wear particular clothing. What you see in the press releases is often simply not true. When you actually read the transcripts of the conversations, you would be shocked. Sex is the ultimate bait and often the men that fall for this are introverted, shy and sometimes mentally challenged.
The police are not catching the real sex predators with these types of operations.
Many of the departments receive financial aid in the form of equipment and funding from the Federal Government. They have to justify this “aid” with arrests and prosecutions. The real solution and the answer in keeping children is parental involvement. Parents should be the gatekeeper when it comes to Internet usage. Parental controls should be on computers. The computer should be in the living room, not the child’s bedroom. Parents need to know who their kids are chatting with. Parents should routinely check their kid’s cellphones for suspicious activity. Parents should know if their kids are “sexting” with others on the smartphones. The solution to this problem is prevention not entrapment. If the police spent a tenth of the money they do on stings in educating kids to the dangers the problem would be solved. At the core of the problem is the fact that some Sheriff’s want the publicity. It gets them elected. Some State Attorney’s in election years want to appear “tough on crime”. When they do these operations they can make press releases touting the fact that they are “protecting the children in our County”. Well over half of the men arrested are young, lonely and easily manipulated by experienced undercover chatters. They know what to say to get someone to travel to meet a minor. They know what to say to get someone to send a “dirty pic”. They know how to work the system.
Another Child Porn Sex Sting in Polk 2015
Just as I predicted, Grady Judd, the Sheriff in Polk County has run another Child Porn Sex Sting. Law enforcement is phasing down the typical Internet Sex Stings and focusing more on running pro-active Internet child pornography stings. In the most recent one, in February of 2015 twelve people were arrested and charged with various child pornography offenses. One of the men was so desperate he took his own life as police were approaching. It is sad that some people are so afraid of being arrested that they are willing to kill themselves for simply looking at pictures. In most of the cases, search warrants were executed. The latest operation dubbed Child Shield I was as usual kicked off with a Grady Judd press dog and pony show.
In the recent porn sex sting, a number of the arrests involved the use of the KIK cell phone application. In almost every case, the search warrant resulted in the seizure of additional evidence that will be the subject of forensic analysis. In one case, law enforcement found burned hard drives where one of the suspects had apparently tried to destroy content. Sadly, even if you accidently get child pornography on your computer, it is next to impossible to get rid of it. There are more child pornography sex stings running right now. The best way to avoid an arrest is to not commit the crime in the first place. In some cases, it is an addiction that needs to be treated and addressed. As a child pornography sting lawyer, I feel that jail in not the best answer. Many people who find themselves addicted to viewing it were in fact actual victims as children of sexual abuse. Society views them as horrible creatures who should rot in jail when in fact, as former victims, what they really need is psychological or psychiatric help. As a criminal defense lawyer, I learned long ago not to judge people. As a sex crime lawyer my job is to defend people accused of sex offenses. Life is not black and white as Grady Judd sees it. There are more than fifty shades of grey and in the law and there is no black and white when it comes to people’s lives.
Sometimes these cases have valid defenses. The child porn sting undercover operation may have involved entrapment. The child porn search warrant may have defects. The questioning regarding you and your computer containing child porn may have been illegal. The forensics report regarding child porn on your computer may be wrong. Never give up hope. Even if you are guilty, an experienced criminal defense sex crime lawyer may be able to reduce the consequences of whatever bad decisions you have made in the past. Call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation
There was an article that is attached below of a man that was found innocent of child porn charges because his neighbor had pirated his wifi