It has been quiet on the sex sting front here in Sarasota. It is 2016 and there could be one running now in Pinellas County, but it is hard to tell. The Sheriff and the Clerk block the arrest information when the sex stings are running, and in Bradenton, the Manatee sheriff does not even let the people arrested make the required phone call. I checked the FDLE statistics and the sex stings seem to have peaked in 2014. That does not mean they are not still running them, it is just that arrests seem to be down. Hopefully the police will put their resources more on prevention rather that entrapping otherwise lonely men looking to hook up with adults. As a sex crime lawyer, I have always advocated prevention. The police should be doing lectures in middle schools alerting kids to the dangers of the Internet. They should be giving lectures at PTA meetings giving parents advice on how to monitor what their kids are doing on the Internet.
In my experience (and I have handled 36 sex sting cases) the men that fall for the bait and switch tactics of the police are generally shy, introverted and unsophisticated. They are usually in adult dating or hookup sites looking for another adult. They get tempted by police posing as teenagers looking for experience. In reality, there are no young girls on the Internet looking for some older guy to teach them. That is all a ruse and if you see an ad or get a text suggesting that, it for sure is a cop. The police also pose as single parents looking for someone to teach their child about sex. That is ridiculous. No parent would do that. It is always an undercover police officer. The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.
Never chat with a minor. Never travel any distance to meet a minor. Never text or talk dirty with a minor. It will get you arrested, prosecuted and land you in State prison. You do not want to become a registered sex offender for life. Do not let your loneliness get you in trouble with the law.
If you are reading this too late or have a loved one who has been arrested for traveling to meet a minor, solicitation or enticement of a minor or attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation.
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