| Read Time: 2 minutes | Sex Crimes

31 men arrested in Florida sex crime sting

Operation SpiderWeb 2 was the name police authorities gave to an internet-based scheme to catch sex offenders attempting to solicit minors in Orange County, Florida. The sex sting led to the arrest of 31 Florida males who were lured to the arrest location by police drafted online posts offering “fun” with underage kids. The Orange County sheriff stated to the press that all the individuals arrested were Florida natives. “We didn’t have anyone from out of state come in during this operation. They all were pretty much here,” he said. The Police reports show that the men arrested were between the ages of 18 and 59. Among those arrested were a 29-year old Iraqi war veteran and local Florida National Guard reservist. After the arrest, the solider allegedly told police his life was now over and that exposure to illegal activities during his tour in Iraq had caused the problem. The postings published by the Florida authorities used to prompt the string were ambiguously disguised as coming from a stepfather of a teenage girl described as “open naturalist looking for outside fun,” and “liberated and interested in learning more,” authorities reported. After responding to the various posts by e-mail, those arrested set up a “meeting location” via text message. The 31 men were arrested upon arrival to the sting location before any activity had occurred. The men were then held in police custody and no details have been released concerning any charges. Sex related offenses can have serious long-term consequences that will impact the rest a person’s life. Working with a forceful and effective attorney as soon as possible may help avoid these serious consequences. Even before charges are ever filed, if you have reason to believe you will or are being investigated for sex crimes, contacting a criminal defense lawyer can aid in protecting your rights. Source: NY Daily News, “Florida cops nab 31 pervs in child sex sting,” Victoria Cavaliere, Nov. 1, 2012

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Sex Crimes

Florida Police’s Internet Child Predator Stings and Entrapment

Some Question the Legality of Aggressive Law Enforcement Tactics A recent internet child predator sting created by Polk County’s Sheriff’s Department resulted in the arrest of 22 men. Authorities created advertisements on websites such as Craigslist, Backpage, MyYearbook and OKCupid, pretending that they were a concerned parent or relative who wanted someone to provide guidance to their young girl. Some of the accused men answered the advertisements and were arrested for ‘expressing an interest’ in having sex with the nonexistent child. Other accused men were arrested for having online chats on AOL instant messenger and then allegedly arriving at a location for the purpose of sex with the fictitious child. Ever since Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” aired, a spotlight has shone on the set-up and subsequent arrest of people for committing alleged sexual internet crimes. There are few people that come to the defense of the alleged predators, as most people in their living room say ‘he got what was coming to him.’ However, “To Catch a Predator” paints the worse possible picture of the situation and never questions whether the accused person’s behavior was the result of entrapment – inducing the alleged offender’s conduct. Florida’s criminal statutes contain a section on entrapment. However, the statute leaves opportunity for much interpretation on whether the authorities’ conduct improperly induced the alleged offender’s behavior. Whether law enforcement’s actions constitute entrapment depends largely on the factual circumstances of each case, and ultimately is decided by the court. The entrapment defense requires an in-depth analysis of the evidence and construction of a carefully crafted defense strategy. Those accused of internet crimes or sex crimes are immediately condemned as guilty by the public, before having the opportunity to defend against the accusations. Being arrested for an internet sex crime does astounding damage to one’s reputation and life, but fortunately the criminal justice system still regards the accused as innocent until proven guilty. Because accused people still have an opportunity to clear their name, it is crucial to contact a savvy and experienced criminal defense lawyer to help achieve the best possible outcome.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: < 1 minute | Sex Crimes

Orlando Prostitution Arrests Show Backpage as the New Craigslist

While Orlando police have arrested people for prostitution-related crimes for decades, the enforcement methods have had to change with the times. In today’s world, law enforcement relies heavily upon the Internet in deciding who and how to arrest. Craigslist was the primary Internet source of prostitution information for police, but Backpage has now replaced it. Internet Prostitution and Solicitation In early September, Craigslist made a decision to remove the “Adult Services” section from its website. Craigslist made its decision after politicians, attorney generals and law enforcement called for it to be banished; claiming it fueled and enhanced the prostitution industry. However, even some of the biggest anti-prostitution advocates correctly predicted that Craigslist’s removal from the market would open the door for other Internet sites to offer almost the exact same forum. Backpage.com is now the leading online tool for advertising erotic or prostitution-related services. Backpage’s “adult” section includes subcategories for: escorts, body rubs, strippers & strip clubs and adult jobs. While the advertisements may be adult-oriented, they aren’t necessarily providing illegal services. Prostitution under Florida Law In Florida, prostitution means the giving or the receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire, excluding sexual activity between spouses. Each defense case is unique, as different facts, circumstances and evidence are involved. Just because someone is arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute does not mean they have committed a crime. However, all people accused of sexual crimes face serious injury to their reputation. Florida law provides for severe punishment for people convicted of prostitution-related offenses. Repeat offenders may face especially harsh punishment through felony charges of prostitution or solicitation. Some of the tools that courts use to punish prostitution offenders include: Jail Time Expensive Fines Mandatory STD Testing Mandatory Attendance in a HIV Awareness Class

Continue Reading