Archive for Friday, December 22, 2006

Lawrence man arrested in Internet sex case

December 22, 2006

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Johnson County Sheriff's officers arrested a 22-year-old Lawrence man Wednesday afternoon and allege that he solicited a meeting for sex with an underage girl.

Master Deputy Tom Erickson said the man showed up at a meeting in Johnson County expecting to meet a girl he had conversed with on the Internet. Instead, a group of deputies met the man and took him into custody.

During his Internet sessions, the man had actually been chatting with a sheriff's deputy, who regularly conducts the sting operations and acts like teenagers during chats.

The man was booked into Johnson County Jail and charged with electronic solicitation of a child, Erickson said. He remained in jail Thursday on $10,000 bond.

Erickson said the Internet-sting operations have resulted in 35 arrests this year.

The Journal-World does not generally name those accused of sex crimes.

Comments

Kelly Powell 8 years, 5 months ago

can we get an age here? did he think he was hooking up with a 17 year old or was it more like 13?Either is illegal, but there is a tad bit of difference. 17 makes him a scumbag....13 makes him a monstrous scum bag.

LovelyAngel315 8 years, 5 months ago

Anyone 16 or over is legal now. Usually when they set them up, they use 13. That way they can spend their time catching the really monstrous scumbags. :)

TheGoldenBoy 8 years, 5 months ago

I would think that they would have trouble proving the elements of their case. First, they would have to show intent. If the suspect or person of interest had never actually done anything wrong, there wouldn't be any intent. How do prove that the person you were talking to online was the person with whom you are talking to in person. From what I understand, since there isn't much crime in Johnson County, they have to really go out of their way to set someone up so they can arrest them!

dozer 8 years, 5 months ago

Intent comes from the internet chat, what was said, what was planned to happen when they met, etc.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

The age of consent in Kansas (for as long as I can remember) is 16 years old. It is GENERALLY LEGAL for anyone who is over the age of 16 to engage in consensual sex with them without a crime being committed. http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11554

But contrary to the headline here (and similar stories) there was NOT any "Internet Sex." What is alleged here is indecent solicitation of a child which is a felony. http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11562

The reason "Deputy Debbie" was pretending to be a 13 year old is not so they can "spend their time catching the really monstrous scumbags", but because indecent solicitation of a child under 14 is a higher level felony. http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11563

While it is often said that "it can't hurt to ask", it greatly depends on what is being asked and how old the person is!

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

If he was 18 and she was 17, it would be LEGAL, not illegal, and no crime.

Scott Kaiser 8 years, 5 months ago

Hard to prove the case? Haven't you seen the Dateline episodes where they catch one after another? If it's not a proveable case, why would they be wasting their time trying to catch these creeps?

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

Who in the world lately hasn't heard of the Dateline stings? They've done about six of them so far, and still the idiots out there keep doing this kind of stuff.

It's not difficult to prove intent. Some of these scumbags get pretty graphic in their online chats with kids. If they set up a meeting, and they actually show up, they're cooked. Though what they can charge them with may depend on the laws by state.

Anyone else think there should be a federal law concerning this?

The Dateline episodes, by the way, are done with the help of Perverted Justice.

Here's the website:

www.perverted-justice.com/

Kelly Powell 8 years, 5 months ago

A 22 year old cruisin for high school tail is just sad.....Basically it is pedatory on a few levels....and it really pssed us teen boys off that are competing for the same tail.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 5 months ago

Back when i was in highschool that is......My teen days are long gone and gladly forgotten.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

Before someone corrects my earlier post, I should correct it myself. First, 16 years old IS the age of consent in Kansas (at least that was correct). http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11554 http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11555 Neither rape nor indecent liberties with a child.

The 2006 Kansas Legislature amended and extended the criminal statutes. HB 2576 created KSA 21-4643 which is in effect as of July 1, 2006. This law will not be published on the www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes... website until January 1, 2007. I missed it no doubt due to one too many eggnogs last night.

That bill created the new crime of "electronic solicitation" defined to include communication conducted through the telephone, internet or by other electronic means which involves enticing or soliciting a person whom the offender believes to be a child to commit or submit to an unlawful sexual act. If the child is believed to be under 14 years of age, the penalty would be a level 1, person felony and if the child is believed to be 14 or 15 years of age, the penalty would be a level 3, person felony.

This addressed the fact that in this and other cases there is/was NO under-aged girl, just two consenting adults (assuming that the Johnson County Sheriff only hires adults) and although the 22 year old Lawrence man may have intended to solicit a 13 year old, he didn't. Generally intended but failed crimes are charged as "attempted" crimes and receive a lesser sentence.

Kat Christian 8 years, 5 months ago

Something for sick and wrong with our society of men when they seek sexual relationships with children. When there are SO MANY young willing women and men out there wanting either sexual and/or commital relationships. I just don't know what make these men so demented. What part of their brain, upbringing caused this sickness or is it just plain demonic EVIL? Something that can't be repaired or put to a halt in our society. We need to stop just putting a bandaid on this problem and get to the real problem of this.

shirinisb 8 years, 5 months ago

The fact that people still come to these stings, despite the danger, clearly shows that they truly aren't capable of rehabilitation. 99% of the time the men (or women although I haven't seen an internet case of a female being caught) getting caught while going to meet a 13 year old it wasn't the first time they attempted, or had sexual contact with a child.

Parent's need to be dilligent in protecting their children. Check the KBI website weekly to make sure you know where the sex offenders in Lawrence are. Make sure your neighbors know, don't be shy. These guys weren't when they attacked children.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

shirinisb, please remember that not every time an adult uses the internet to meet someone underage for sex is it a sting. That sobering thought motivated the KS Legislature and the very harsh penalty in these cases. Hopefully when the word gets out that you can spend 25 years in jail if you get caught it will act as a deterrent for others who are considering this.

shirinisb 8 years, 5 months ago

Sigmund-

I agree, that is the scary part. I can't imagine how much of the time they're actually abusing the child instead of being caught in a sting.

I'm just explaining why they continue to show up despite the fact that it's more and more likely as these stings increase that they will be caught. Thank goodness they have stiff penalties, however judging from a lot of the offense dates and the current date these guys are out pretty quickly.

I also grew up with a girl who's father was raping a girl in the daycare that he ran with his wife. He didn't get a day in jail. He just had to pee in a cup for a few years, a small probation for taking the innocence of a third grader.

I don't understand why judges don't throw the book at these sickos.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

shirinisb, for most felony crimes in Kansas judges are constrained by sentencing guidelines and statutes enacted by the Legislature which are very specific about the sentences they can impose. These guidelines take into account the nature of the crime and any previous criminal history. Even when presented mitigating or aggravating factors, Judges can only depart upward or downward so far. http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/sentencing_grid.html

fairylight 8 years, 5 months ago

It would seem to me highly probable that anyone stupid enough to troll for underage kids on the Internet has many MANY issues..one may well be the inability to even DO IT!.

In the last year there has been such focus on these stings that I am surprised there are still people with Internet access that are this stupid!

I have to wonder what these idiots/scumbags are thinking, is it the underage they are after or some porn image they have in their heads? What a loser.

cntryangel2008 8 years, 5 months ago

they need to make all of the teen chatrooms on the internet where you would have to verify your age and maybe then these men would not be able to go into a teenage website and talk to teen age girls

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