A Virtual Child to Lure Predators
Earlier this month, an organization in the Netherlands released the identities of 1,000 pedophiles from all over the world (including the U.S.) to Interpol. According to reports, the names were collected when the men allegedly tried to pay a ten-year-old girl named Sweetie from the Philippines for a sex show over a web cam. What the men didn't know is that Sweetie doesn't exist: She is a virtual child that is controlled and operated by members of the organization. Sweetie, the virtual child is so lifelike, no one would be able to tell the difference between her and a real person.
Using a Virtual Child to Catch Predators – Should Everyone Be Allowed to Do This?
There is an issue which many are having with Sweetie and using her as a method to catch potential predators. The people who are controlling the virtual child and collecting the information of the men who are chatting with her are not law enforcement. They are simply members of an organization who feel compelled to entrap alleged pedophiles. And, while this may be commendable, it is important to understand that law enforcement agencies in Douglas, Arapahoe and Larimer County exist to protect and serve citizens, and to prevent crimes such as the sexual exploitation of children. The organization is not a law enforcement agency which operates under a specific code of conduct – they are private citizens. Their publication of names and photos of alleged sex offenders is not first proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
Police stings result in many people in Denver, Boulder and Adams County being charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Why should we not leave the prevention of crime to the police? What happens if the general public decides to wage their own personal war on people they think are pedophiles? Without the structure and order of a law enforcement agency operating stings, many situations could get out of hand. While the Dutch organization may be operating fairly, people who decide to imitate this sting could very well lead to the destruction of innocent people's lives and reputations.Request a Free Consultation