To catch a predator

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Notaguru2, May 29, 2008.

  1. Notaguru2

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    A quick preface; I think all pedos are sick and should be in jail for the rest of their natural life. Now, having said that...

    You've probably seen that show "To Catch A Predator" - the NBC show that documents sting operations where people try to hook up with minors over the internet. When perpetrator shows up at the house, they arrest him.

    I was watching it tonight and it occurred to me; online, the "decoys" claim to be someone they are not, a minor. All of the decoys are of legal age, yet they claim to be 13-15 yrs old. Then when the predators show up at the decoys house, they get arrested for attempted sexual act with a minor.

    So, here's my question: how can they be charged this way when in fact the decoys aren't minors? I mean they lie on the internet about their age and it would seem that the predator could claim he was lying too. Im not trying to defend the predators, but this would seem to be an easy rap to beat.

    Are there any legal begals in the group that can explain the precedence?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bbucko

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    I'm not a legal beagle at all, but I would say that it comes down to two things:

    1) The intent of the predator was to engage in sexual activity with someone underage;
    2) The use of any real minor in these stings would be vastly immoral.
     
  3. Domisoldo

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    1. I do feel ambivalent about the program...For one, the self-righteousness of the anchor induces vomitting.

    2. I never quite understood the legal double standard. If decoys are OK in the "moral" sphere, why don't we also allow decoys for car thefts and burglaries?

    Any criminal lawyer in the house?
     
  4. OCMuscleJock

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    i think that show is great... not for the subject matter of course...

    One thing i found hilarious about that show is... (i also saw a comedian say this on a show) ... there are a lot of Indian predators.. Not like native American Indians..but people from India. The comedian said... "it's a sad day in America when we even outsource our predators." hahaha :)

    Seems like a VERY high percentage of guys they catch on that show are... Odd...
     
  5. Alex Chambers

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    I am not a criminal defense attorney (I don't even play one on TV), but I would guess that in the jurisdiction where the show is taped, luring the predator to the house, even using the false information, may be legally sufficient to demonstrate the predator's intent/state of mind to commit the crime (assuming one even needs an intent element to prosecute). If the predator is charged with a so-called "specific intent" crime (where an act is deemed illegal regardless of the perpetrator's intent), then the act of soliciting sex from a minor itself could be illegal regardless of the predator's state of mind (e.g. he knew it wasn't a real minor, thought he was playing a joke, was just going to "warn" the kid how dangerous it was to give out personal information over the internet, etc.). Specific intent crimes are usually those which are designed to "protect the moral welfare of minors", the most famous of which, is the statutory rape law--if an adult has sex with a minor, (typically) he is guilty of statutory rape and we don't care if she looked 18, lied about her age, had a fake driver's license, etc--you did the act, you're guilty, there's no defense, see you at sentencing. Protecting a minor would seem to apply in this case, but it would be difficult to say with certainty how the court drama would play out without knowing the law of the state they're in and exactly what crime they are charged with (except, judging from their follow-up pieces, the charges seem to stick).

    In the interest of full disclosure, I would further add that I am NOT--repeat, NOT--a licensed attorney (graduated from law school, but still gotta pass the bar exam), so don't anyone come after me, accusing me of "engaging in the unauthorized practice of law". There's a headache I don't need.
     
    #5 Alex Chambers, May 29, 2008
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  6. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    I say this in all seriousness....there are plenty of countries who see what we call underage as available and legal. I wonder if that is some of what you are seeing.

    I love that show and i see nothing wrong with it. What if that was YOUR daughter or YOUR son on the internet being duped by an older man? There are plenty of young boys and girls who end up mutilated in ditches from perverts who show up to these houses with ropes and condoms. If we prevent even just one child from being molested, raped or murdered then i'm perfectly fine with it.

    They deserve their humiliation.

    Trying to warn the minor about the dangers of the internet? That is just about as ridiculous as a man molesting a girl and telling her it was a "pelvic exam"
     
    #6 B_Mademoiselle Rouge, May 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2008
  7. B_kewlhandle

    B_kewlhandle New Member

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    Who cares about legal, that's not what the program is about. It's show business and it's making millions for NBC and its parent company General Electric. Even if the legal case is weak and the subjects are later acquitted, the program has already aired, the advertisers have paid and the dough is in the bank. If there wasn't so much money involved NBC wouldn't be doing it, and "To Catch a Corporate Crook (or crooked journalist / politician, etc.)" wouldn't sell as well on TV.

    It's also interesting how all of you have adopted the show's lingo of "predator" since a predator prays on an unwilling victim, but if a 16 year-old tells a 20 year-old on line they want to hook up for sex that doesn't sound like predation as you can't prey on someone giving consent.
     
  8. omgiswatdeysay

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    I love that show!
     
  9. Jovial

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  10. jason_els

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    They did have an episode where they used an underaged kid. The guy would come in the house, the underage kid would greet them, leave, and then the camera crew appeared.

    To be absolutely honest, I think this show is odious. In the few cases I've seen, yeah these people appear to be real predators, in others though, I'm not so sure. I have issues with what is, essentially, entrapment. There may be intent to commit a crime, but without any crime essentially taking place, it becomes a thought crime and that just raises too many issues with me. Maybe I've just seen Minority Report too often. How many kids go around inviting strange men to meet them? Maybe I'm naive.

    I believe this country is so pedophileophobic that the net casts so wide that it snares people it shouldn't. Once before I mentioned that I took my nephew, who is all of 4, to a playground and one of the ladies there called the cops on me because I wasn't his father nor his mother. It was very unnerving to have a cop approach me and then treat me like a complete criminal until my sister, who had to come and explain, appeared to exonerate me all because some woman didn't recognize me as someone my nephew might know.

    I love kids, like being around them, playing with them, having fun. I'm a great babysitter. I'd love to be a Big Brother or other type of mentor to kids but people are so immediately suspicious of any man who shows an interest in kids, that I refuse to even get involved.

    And I speak of this as someone who was molested as a very young boy.
     
  11. Notaguru2

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    It does seem however, that if there really is THIS many child predators out there then we live in shark infested waters. I mean... they've probably documented 100's of them. They (NBC & PJ) can go to virtually any town in the USA and arrest people. Its shocking if you think about it.

    It is interesting to think that in ancient cultures, 13 was the age when you became a "man" or "woman". We made the right call in changing that perception.
     
  12. OCMuscleJock

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    Its true...many countrys underage kids having sex isn't illegal..I never said i love the show and see nothing wrong with it. I had a friend when I lived in LA that was my age but looked about 15... so he worked with the police on stings like this. It's crazy the stories he told me.


     
  13. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    Car theft decoys are in fact in place as sting operations. High demand vehicles are parked in "hot zones" with cameras positioned internally and the vehicles are armed with kill switches. Once the offender breaks in and rolls away the kill switch is active and they are taken into custody.

    Same goes with buglaries/robberies, homeless people and/or drunks sitting on a curb with some cash showing or a watch on or a purse at their feet are, well not always drunks or homeless people.

    Undercover female officers posing as prostitues, shall I go on?

    I'm sorry but someone cannot be entrapped on those shows or these crimes. You break into a car thats not yours, it's not because it was a decoy. You show up at a person's house thinking they are 13, it's not because it was a decoy. You grab a womens purse, it's not because it was a decoy.
     
  14. Jovial

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    But in the case of the car, there are cars parked all over, it just happens that the car thief chose the decoy. Same with prostitutes. The question is are there a bunch of underage kids on the Internet inviting adults over for sex and the "predators" just happened to choose that one? In the thread last year, no one could answer that for me.
     
  15. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    The officers or decoys that enter chat rooms trying to find pedophiles, enter chat rooms that are open to the public, they are not created specifically by law enforcement agencies, that would be entrapment.

    They have decoys/agents chatting hours a day having conversations with people until steps are taken to induce a meeting. It's not like they go after people that say "wow you're cute" and comments such as that. They are after the people that are acting on conversations that take place in a public forum.

    It's no different than pulling someone over that has a joint in the car, most of the time they will just take it from you and let you go. Now if you have 5 garbage bags full of weed in your trunk that's another story. There is degrees of everything and they weed out the worst offenders and/of ones that are a high risk to offend.
     
  16. 1BiGG1

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    Don&#8217;t all of these cases have clear criminal intent in the form of the pedophiles stating sexual acts they want too partake in and/or sending sexually explicit photos before meeting?
     
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