Over this past Weekend, there were a number of arrests for traveling to meet a minor and Internet solicitation of a minor. The truth is, there were no minors….There never are.
The Sarasota Sheriff does this about twice a year targeting the “low hanging fruit” by going on the Internet dating sites, pretending to be an adult and then in classic bait and switch luring unsuspecting men into compromising conversations with undercover detectives. In Sarasota County, you will get arrested for just chatting with a minor, much less meeting one. What drives this is the creation of statistics. Law enforcement creates a crime by luring and seducing unsuspecting men into chatting with undercover detectives. All of this begins with the police posting false profiles on adult sites, pretending to be a woman of legal age. Once the chats begin and the bait is taken, the detectives then claim to be underage saying “I hope you are not mad, I am really 13 or 14”. They will then hint that they are not really very experienced and pretend that they need an older guy to teach them about sex. Sadly weak men succumb to this temptation and continue to chat. The detectives immediately try to get them to text. The undercover cops are really good at walking that fine line between legitimate law enforcement and Entrapment. It is the police doing the luring and seducing 90% or the time.
News Flash! There are no real 14 year old girls on the Internet that want to chat or talk with older men. It is always the police running their bait and switch scam. The simple answer is, that no man should ever text or chat with any minor about anything, much less sex. You can’t get arrested if you don’t commit a crime. The second anyone ever even hints they are underage, terminate all contact. Even if the undercover chatter texts you back “you are really cute”, block them and terminate all contact. There are no young girls on the Internet that want to have anything to do with you. Why would they? There are tons of teenage boys already chasing them. Never talk on the computer or cell phone with anyone underage for any reason. There is never a good reason for a twenty or thirty year old guy talking with a girl in middle school or high school. They don’t call it “jail bait” for nothing. No matter how tempting it sounds, do not think for a second it is real. Curiosity killed the cat and curiosity will land you in State prison and make you a registered sex offender and land you on a decade of Sex offender probation. Young girl plus texting equals jail…..always.
If you have a relative arrested in one of these stings, do not be mad and do not write them off. Chances are, it was the police preying on their weakness. I have defended autistic young men who simply do not know better. I have defended lonely college kids who are naïve and desperate for any girl to talk to them or pay attention to them. Desperate young men do desperate things. If you have a son who is introverted or vulnerable, educate them to the dangers of the Internet. We used to think we had to protect our daughters from the Internet predators. Now you have to think about protecting your sons from the Police Internet predators. They prey on naïve young insecure introverted men in their early twenties. Don’t you think the police should concentrate on the real predators? How about going to schools and lecturing on the dangers of the Internet.
Here is another great danger. Never send a pic of your penis to anyone, much less someone who pretends or claims to be underage. Most adult women are not impressed….”seen one, seen um all”. It is not like your dick has personality. If a chatter suggests a nude pic or a dick pic, never, no never send one. There is another scam going around where scammers trick someone into sending a pic and then try and shake you down for money pretending to be a detective. I get about one call a week from guys that are being extorted by scammers. The Internet is a dangerous place and you put yourself at great risk for even texting or chatting with anyone who claims to be underage. Here in Sarasota, the State Attorney will even request arrest warrants for people who simply chat or text and then refuse to travel. You can get arrested in Sarasota for simply texting, even if you are pretty sure it is an adult. As a sex sting lawyer, I have handled over forty cases and never once was there a real child in danger. You need to really read up on what is happening