Internet sting operations are common. In fact, most people charged with Internet Luring in Adams, Denver, and El Paso County are caught by sting operations, rather than in situations where an actual child is put in danger. I read an article recently that was unusual; a man was arrested after an internet sting operation. While this in and of itself isn't unusual, the oddity lies in the fact that he knew it was likely a sting operation, but he responded to the ad anyway. Let's take a look at this situation and how sting operations work.
Internet Sting Operations and Internet Luring: How They Work
Before we take a look at a specific example, let's take a moment to understand Internet Luring charges and how internet sting operations are used to entrap people. Internet Luring of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-306, is charged in Douglas, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County whenever a person:
“Knowingly communicates over a computer…telephone…or data network or by a text message…to a person who the actor knows or believes to be under fifteen years of age and, in that communication…describes explicit sexual conduct…and in connection with that description, makes a statement persuading or inviting the person to meet the actor for any purpose, and the actor is more than four years older than the person or than the age the actor believes the person to be.”
That is the complete definition – let me clarify it a bit more. Here's my simple definition:
If a person knowingly communicates online or over the phone with a person they believe to be under 15, and during the communication they:
- Describe explicit sexual conduct, and
- Make a statement persuading the child to meet for any purpose.
Internet sting operations are commonly run in order to catch people who are trying to have a sexual relationship with a younger teen. In fact, many sting operations are organized and run by a Jefferson County District Attorney investigator, Mike Harris.
Man Suspected Sting Operation: Contacted Anyway
In this operation, the “girl” was an undercover police officer.
Now, I'll give you an example of a sting operation – this one took place out-of-state, but it still provides a good example. According to the news, a man was arrested for trying to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex. The man had contacted the “girl” a few days earlier. He probably found a posting online, to which he responded. The “girl” responded with her age, and said she was “willing to try anything.” The man then sent her a sexual photo of himself, discussed sexual behavior, and arranged a meeting. When he pulled up to the meeting place, he was met by police officers. The “girl” was actually an undercover police officer. The man was arrested, and while he was booked, he informed the cops that a few of his friends had warned him the whole thing was probably a sting operation. Unfortunately, he didn't listen to his friends, and now he faces serious sex offense charges.
Why You Need a Lawyer if You've Been Arrested
A conviction will have a long-term negative effect on your life; a lawyer can help.
If you've been arrested as a result of an internet sting operation, don't hesitate to contact one of the hardworking criminal defense lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office. Your future is at stake; an Internet Luring of a Child conviction will have a long-term negative effect on your life. In most cases, it is a class 5 felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 3 years. If the accused is planning to meet for sex or sexual exploitation, it is a class 4 felony. The biggest consequences, however, are the requirements to register as a sex offender and go through sex offender treatment. It's important not to speak with the police – the man in the story above admitted everything to the police, which will not help him in his criminal case. Instead of providing information for the prosecution, contact one of our aggressive criminal defense lawyers who will fight to protect your future.Request a Free Consultation