3 Louisiana men arrested for Internet solicitation of a minor

One of the most common stings is the setup of the unwary sex offender looking for underage woman on the internet. These arrests in Louisiana for Internet solicitation of a minor usually involve going to meet an undercover agent who represented herself to be an underage girl during Internet chats. The trap is so commonplace that you'd think it has played its course, but new offenders fall for it regularly without fail.

Caddo Parish police recently arrested three men for going to meet what they thought was a 13-year-old girl they had met on the Internet. Two of the arrested men were 21 years old and one was 19 years old. The three were booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on charges essentially consisting of Internet solicitation of a minor.

When the men showed up to meet the girl, they were instead met by deputies and taken into custody. Apparently, the men engaged in online conversations with the 'disguised' undercover agent and may have made sexual references, ultimately leading to requests for meetings. The supposed girl was actually an adult male detective posing as a girl.

These arrests raise questions about the propriety of police procedures. The only way they are valid is with substantial written communications proving that the accused has specifically requested sex with a minor, and that the meeting was for the purposes of sex. Authorities could be on weak grounds in premising an arrest simply on the visit of a person to a meeting site without supportive evidence.

And, since there never was in fact a minor girl, where is the crime? The issue of impossibility of performance arises, in that it was impossible, both factually and legally, for the men to be committing a crime by talking with an adult posing as a minor. Closely related is the issue of police entrapment.

It may be that the police are pushing the bounds of criminal behavior with this offense. This may be the entrapment of people into the Internet solicitation of a minor, which in this case was impossible in the first place because there never was a minor involved. If you face such a problem in Louisiana, you'll be well-served by an early consultation with an experienced legal professional who can answer your questions and discuss the prospects of a defense to the charges.

Source: ksla.com, "CPSO: 3 Bossier Parish men arrested in underage sex sting," Willard Woods, May 14, 2013

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