Zealous Florida Officers Pursue Sex Sting Arrests by Any Means Possible
Orlando area law enforcement officers are taking sex crime enforcement to the next level: a recent five-day sting operation put on by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office netted 32 arrests.
This initiative is only the latest in a string of high-stake sex sting busts in the Orlando area. But, while the authorities tout the stings as an appropriate law enforcement tool that is protecting vulnerable community members, many are questioning their ” To Catch a Predator” style tactics.
Sting Methods Put Much at Stake for Accused
In the latest sting, police officers portrayed themselves on the internet as girls between the ages of nine and 14 and invited men to join them at a house deputies had rented in the four corners area of Lake County. From June 14 to June 19, as soon as a man arrived at the property and knocked on the door, he was immediately arrested.
The 32 men arrested were between the ages of 19 and 63. They face charges that include traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity and illegal use of a computer; conviction could result in decades-long prison terms.
Using sex sting methodology modeled on the popular reality television seriesTo Catch a Predator raises a number of legal issues. Depending on what type of communication undercover officers use to entice men to show up at sting locations, arrested individuals may be able to raise an entrapment defense in court. Moreover, an experienced attorney can always advise as to what other defenses would be available in each situation.
In our criminal justice system, there is a presumption of innocence. However, even for those who go on to clear their names, an arrest for a sex crime can lead to harsh judgment by colleagues, family members, and the community as a whole. For instance, it is not uncommon for those arrested in sex stings to lose their jobs even before a final judgment has been issued.
Get Legal Help
If you have been accused of a sex crime, get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Remember, your entire future could be at stake; seek out a dedicated advocate who will be able to craft a solid strategy for your legal defense.