There was an additional arrest, the 22nd, in the Operation Panther, the latest sex sting in Gainesville. Interestingly, over half the men are in their early twenties or under. In the cases I have handled so far the pattern seems to be that the police are busting mostly young shy men who were on the Internet looking for other adults. It will be interesting to follow these cases through the Courts. In almost every case I have handled the undercover chatters actually ask the men to bring condoms or candy. This makes the men sound like real perverts when in fact it is the police that pose first as adults and then trick or tempt young men into meeting with a supposed teenager.
The issue in most of the cases is whether or not the police have used entrapment techniques.
Unfortunately, many of the men arrested had bonds set initially very high, ranging from $75,000 to $300,000. It is wise to hire an attorney before bond is posted. Often the bonds can be reduced and the money saved on bonds can be better spent hiring an experienced sex sting lawyer. The bondsman requires a ten percent fee to post the bond which you do not get back. If you get the bond reduced, you can use the saving elsewhere in actually defending your case.
Sadly some of those arrested were college students. Over and over in these sex stings young shy men get lured and tempted in chats, texts and sexually explicit Internet exchanges when all they were looking for was companionship. A sex crime conviction will ruin a young man’s life forever. They can end up in State prison, on sex offender probation or be required to register as a sex offender forever. A college student with a sex crime conviction and sex offender registration may not be able to go back to the same school. A conviction for a sex crime must be avoided at all costs. Every case is different and the facts have to be examined carefully. Who was doing the luring? Who was doing the seducing? Did it occur on an adult site like Craigslist.com? Was the young man entrapped? Sex Sting cases are not hopeless and a good defense may exist.
If a loved one was arrested, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation.