Bill:

So, how does the law enforcement typically set these crimes up?

Gary:

What they'll do is they'll put an ad up on a site like Backpage, or Craigslist, or basically one of these classified sites and the ad will be something sexual. They will be putting one of the casual encounters ads where someone would be going to look for a casual sexual encounter. Typically what they're doing is not bringing up a child in the ads, so the people that are looking for a casual sexual hook-up will respond to the ad placed by law enforcement. The conversation progresses - law enforcement will introduce the idea of a child. A casual encounter is just one of the subheadings in classified. That is what regards to Craigslist. It's a section you would click on if you are going to Craigslist, just like if you're looking for roommate. You click a rooms for rent. Here, if you're looking for casual sexual encounter, and you're on the Craigslist site, you would click to casual encounters. And before you get any further, they'll ask you to certify or corroborate that you're over the age of 18.

Bill:

Is it like a chat room then for consenting adults?

Gary:

It's not really a chat room although those stings, there are stings that are being used where they start in chat rooms. Really is just basically computerized personal section.

Bill:

You've mentioned before, you indicated that the police are identifying themselves initially as a person over 18? Are they doing that in all cases?

Gary:

I'm glad you brought that up. No, that's true. Sometimes they are going in, particularly on a cases when they enter a chat room. On those occasions the police are actually pretending to be a child under the age of 18 and to be candid when they're doing that, from the defense perspective, the case become harder.

Bill:

So, why are they indicating that they're over 18, as long as the alleged perpetrators is over 18 and seem to be like legal conduct, right?

Gary:

Well, for two reasons. One is, because the sites like Craigslist and Backpage have not given approval to law enforcement to run these ads. The theory is if they're explicit about sexual contact with the child under 18, the posts will be deleted by the site before they get any hits for their sting. So, they have to be a little more subtle about it.

Bill:

Sounds like not subtle, but like a setup?

Gary:

That's the defense argument. We believe quite often that is the case because of the way the law enforcement is going in and getting people this never would be happening. A lot of these people they get have no prior criminal history whatsoever.

Continue to Part 11 >>

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