May 24, 2018
Stay off of Skout.com and Grinder.com
The latest Sarasota Internet Sex Sting is using phone applications like Skout.com to lure unsuspecting men into compromising chat, texting and meetings with undercover detectives.
The police are also using Grinder.com to target gay men. No one should be hooking up with a minor and as a sex crime lawyer, I have always said, the best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime. Sadly, in Sarasota and Manatee County, the sex stings have resulted in men with learning disabilities or autism being sucked into compromising situations. The police sometimes create crime. Many of the police departments get federal funds from ICAC and have to justify the funds with arrests. It is a lot easier for the police to simply create a crime interacting with a “mentally challenged” adult that to go out and actually detect real crime.
For the police, it is all about making an arrest and they could care less if they are arresting a mentally disabled or mentally challenged adult. To them, an arrest is an arrest. Sadly, some of the prosecutors (many of them young) are clueless when it comes to mental disabilities. They simply tow the party line and go forward and try and put them in prison. The sad truth is the most of the real pedophiles are too smart to get caught in the stings and the police are scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to justify agency funding. The State attorney needs to have experts in mental health, particularly experts in the field of intellectual disability and autism, come in and educate the assistant state attorneys so that they will have a better understanding of people with mental disability. A very important part of justice is compassion. To some prosecutors it is more about winning than doing true justice. I personally think that every prosecutor should spend one night in jail as a part of their training. It is similar to the situation with the homeless people here in Sarasota. Maybe if each city commissioner would spend 24 hours homeless and penniless on the streets of Sarasota they would have a better understanding of the challenges faced.
The real truth about the injustice of the Internet Sex Stings needs to be told