Useful articles on Internet Sex Sting Operations and related:
- Defending the Internet Sex Sting Case – Article by Anthony J. Colleluori on these cases. One of the better articles on the internet. Summary: These are very difficult!
- The Ins and Outs of Sex Sting Cases – Article by lawyer Tim Baldwin.
- Reforming the Registry – Most caught in sing operations will end up having to register as a sex offender (SO). There is a lot of push to reform these laws. This is a 2014 Slate article.
- Sex Offender Management Policy in the States – Article by The Council of State Governments from 2010 on SO Policy.
- ICAC: A Matrix and Summary of Major Federal and State Select State Case Law – 2009 Report, over 200 pages.
- The Ethics Surrounding Seattle Police’s Massage Parlor Sex Sting Operation – 2016 Blog on questionable police tactics relating to a prostitution sting. These operations can generate A LOT of revenue. Fines are $1.5k for first offense and can be higher and they often catch 100-200 “John’s” in these operations.
- False Arrest and Shaming in Florida – Article by Mike Masnick on How Florida Police Falsely Arrest & Shame Men As Child Sexual Predators, Steal Their Cars… Then Try To Hide The Records
- Sting Statistics in Florida (2011-2013) – A news investigation showed 194 arrests with 147 being convicted, 51% received < 1 year in jail. 80% required to register as sex offenders
- Florida Sting Operation Complaint – A 64 page document with details from Florida Law, ICAC Operational Standards, Newspaper article and letter of complaint to Attorney General Holder to stop these ICAC Sting operations. Put together in 2014. A second copy is here in case original link goes bad.
- Entrapped! When Craigslist predator stings go too far – A 2013 article on someone who was entrapped in sting operation.
- How law enforcement turns law-abiding men into sexual predators – A December 2014 Tampa News station (Channel 10) investigation of Sex Stings by Noah Pransky.
- Officers accused of bending rules on sex sting arrests – Similar to article above but posted on USA Today. Posted in August 2014.
- The Dirtiest Trick Used to Entrap Internet Sting Targets – Written in June of 2014 on a Criminal Law Blog. There are a few other good links in the article.
- Internet stings: Does the fantasy defense hold water? – Psychology Today article from 2012.
- The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year – Article written by Elizabeth Brown in 2016 about sex trafficking in Washington State. A little off topic and long.
- Sting Operations – A DOJ funded research document: Problem-Oriented Guides for Police. Covers all types of Stings and also talks about entrapment issues. I like the conclusion: Sting operations can be expensive, are demanding on personnel, and generally offer limited relief from recurring crime and disorder problems.
- The Shame Game – A 2016 article by
- New Technology, Old Defenses: Internet Sting Operations and Attempt Liability – A 2004 article by Audrey Rogers taking about these child internet sting operations and how they have grown (and this is 13+ years ago). Talks about legal impossibility defense (often not allowed), fantasy defense, assess attempted liability and touches on substantial step.
- Lessons Learned About The Wolf in Childs Clothing, Internet Sting Operations – Written by Robert H. Featherston from Law Offices of Taylor & Correa back in 2004. Focuses on Texas Law talks about fees, defense, cases, etc. Around 92 pages long.
- Why Craigslist’s ‘Casual Encounters’ Is A Bad Spot To Catch Predators – A 2013 Forbes article by Eric Goldman. Craigslist is one of the most common places sting operations target; find out why it is a bad spot to catch Predators.
- ICAC Case Law – From Assistant State Attorney out of Broward County Florida. Published in Sept. 2017. This document is 64 pages and references a lot of cases briefly. Including some that cite entrapment.
- No Prison Time – A man arrested in Missoula sex sting (2013) took a plea deal in 2015 and received 25 year suspended sentence. He was one of 7 people, one of which was found not guilty in a trial and another found dead on his property.
- Lawyer Convicted – Here is a story where a former FSU, West Point Lawyer was convicted. He was found guilty by a Federal Jury.
- Are you cool with me being 15? – The sex sting question that lead a lawyer to jail (6 months) in 2017 – he took a plea.
- Rambo Reyes and The Child Sex Slave Rescue Industry – Interesting investigative reporting by Lynn Packer on a DA, O.U.R. charity and money to organizations formed to help in human trafficking. Seems they may help somewhat but a lot of charity dollars are going into the pockets of those who run these organizations. Disclosure – O.U.R. has contributed money to Washington State’s Net Nanny stings.
- Sex Sting Plea to non Sex Charge – In Washington State Man entered a plea to avoid sex offense (non-sex charge) but still received a felony charge.
- Reverse Sting Operation – An actual woman tried to pimp out her 2 year old for $1,200 and was caught and sentenced to 40 years! So, who is worse in these operations? The one doing the pimping or the one seeking sex? Seems it is the pimp!
- How to Catch a Sex Predator—Sex Sting Operations Uncovered – A lawyer’s blog in Florida talking about their Sting Operations (277 people captured in 2017). Someone who dives into the operation and various statistics.
- Online sex sting sparks debate – A 2014 article on sting operations. This one talks about sting in Corvallis Oregon and the outcome on a few of those cases. It also discusses an older “To Catch a Predator” case which was dismissed during trial.
- Corrections officer resigns after child predator sting on Facebook – Aug 2018, group called Parents Against Predators Nationwide on Facebook setup sting operation and caught corrections officer. Sometimes it is the police, sometimes amateurs, and sometimes it isn’t a sting. You can’t believe/trust anyone online anymore. Bottom line, avoid any discussions with minors online if you are an adult. Also check out this article where Police say this isn’t helping: Stings may cause child predators to go back to looking for kids ‘at the playground’
- Ethics of NBC’s Sting Show ‘To Catch a Predator’ – NPR Discussion from January 2007. Audio (37 minutes) and text transcription. Talks with Chris Hanson (host of the show) as well as a few others. “Compelling Television.”
- Catfishing for Convictions: Florida Police Bend Entrapment Rules – A, Dec 2018, US Observer article on a child sex sting out of Florida and how they are catfishing to capture individuals. Is this Entrapment?
- A Case Against Sex Stings and the Disclosure of Arrestees’ Personal Information – A 2009 article out of the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Talks about ineffective and harmful use of stings especially to the LGBT community.
- How Effective Are They? – An Ontario member of a police force that gave Vancouver cops the idea for a child-sex-sting operation said a majority of charges result in guilty pleas. And the executive director of a child-advocacy group said they should be a regular part of policing. It seems nothing is slowing these things down; and Canada is adopting them as well.
Presentations, Reports & Statistics:
- The Truth and Realities about Florida’s Sex Sting Operations – Florida Action Committee presentation on Florida Sting operations from 2012.
- 2014 National Report on Juvenile offenders and Victims – A 2014 report on Offenders and Victims. Provides some great statistics on who the offenders really are: Family, Friends, and Acquaintances. Less than 5% are strangers.
- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics – This was published in 2000 so it is a little old (refer to publication above for more current statistics). Go to page 13 to find who the offenders were. For Juveniles (<17) an average of 7% were strangers. Family and acquaintances are > 90% of the time the offenders.
- Internet Sex Crimes Against Minors: The Response of Law Enforcement – A 2003 document put out by the Crimes against Children Research Center in New Hampshire. Though old it provides A LOT of statistics including case outcome (pg 29 of 36).
Information articles related to Defense of Sting Operations:
- Fighting Words with the Unabomber – Article by Chi Luu (1-Aug-2017). Discusses use of Forensic Linguist in fighting/defending criminals.
- Linguist work pivotal in capture of unabomber – How a linguist played a role in the capture of the Unabomber.
- Understanding The Tactics To Defend the Internet Sex Sting Case – From a Colorado lawyers web page which maybe a rehash of an article above written by Anthony C.
- Psychological Evaluations for Defense (page 16) – Using the Psychological Evaluation in sex crime case defense.This is an article called “How to Utilize Forensic Psychological Evaluations Within Internet Online Solicitation and Pornography Sex Crime Cases” by John Matthew Fabian, PSY.D., J.D.
- Also check out his slide deck on the same subject matter (sorry for bad “ad” website).
Related Court Cases on Sting Operations:
- U.S. v. McGILL – Court of Appeals case related to Craigslist Ad Sting Operation (2015). Case was affirmed – McGill received 120 month sentence.
- State vs Palmer (Closing), (Voir Dire), Shea Llabre – Case out of Florida won by Peter Aiken discovered on icacarrest.com website. Includes document on Jury selection, chatter, and closing arguments. Three separate documents totaling over 200 pages.
- Miller V State Order to Dismiss, MTD-Violations – Another case out of Florida with motion to dismiss due to Entrapment and violation of Operational plan. Appeal Opinion.
- State v. Patel – Supreme Court in Washington state on a 2nd degree attempt rape of a child Sting Operation. This was decided in 2010, the original verdict was upheld. This references two other similar cases. Here is the Appellant Brief, Petition for Review, and the Respondent Brief from the March 2010 Supreme Court Brief. This went into the decision which occurred in November 2010.
- State v. Best (WA) – A sting operation that was dismissed at trial level, appealed by prosecutors and then reversed at the Appeals level. Looks like it will go back to trail. Original arrest in 2016, appeal verdict in 2018.
- State v. Solomon (WA) – Very similar to the Best case above. This was also dismissed, sent to Appeals Court by prosecutors and upheld at the Appeals court. Interesting cases to compare at the Appeal level in the State of Washington. Verdict for this was May 2018. Additional/similar cases lost at trail are working their way through the process (~7 as of 2018).
Other articles related to Sex Offenders / Registry:
- Sex Offenders and Public Safety: A Four-Part Series – NPR article on Sex Offender and landing on the registry.
- Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions (2009-03-16) – Good book on the topic by Dr. Richard Wright. Includes a chapter on Internet Sting Operations. Here is a link to the first two chapters of the book. This book is now in its 2nd Edition (2014). If you have access to ProQuest Ebook Central (or similar Educational book service) you can download chapters for free. The First edition of the book can be found in PDF form online by clicking here.
- Protecting Our Kids? – A book by Emily Horowitz that questions the Sex Offender Laws. It was written in 2015 so it is relatively new. The book or parts of it can be downloaded via Educational Institution Library resources.
- An Ambivalent Pariah: The Life and Times of a Sex Offender – First person perspective from someone who landed on the SO registry.