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Archive for Friday, May 5, 2006

19-year-old arrested after Internet talks

May 5, 2006

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Johnson County Sheriff's officers arrested a 19-year-old Lawrence man Wednesday on a charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Master Deputy Tom Erickson, a sheriff spokesman, said the man was taken into custody after he showed up for what he believed would be a meeting with a 14-year-old girl.

Earlier, the man had been chatting on the Internet and solicited sexual conversations with a sheriff's detective posing as a young person, Erickson said.

The department started using the detective in that capacity in January, Erickson said. So far, 15 other people have been arrested on similar charges and their cases are pending in court, Erickson said.

Officers allege the Lawrence man arrested on Wednesday expected a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old when he arrived at the meeting place. Erickson also said the detective only poses as a young person online and does not seek out the sexual conversations.

"He doesn't bring it up," Erickson said of the sheriff's detective.

The man remained in the Johnson County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Comments

mom_of_three 8 years, 7 months ago

Who cares if it is entrapment? As a parent, I certainly don't. Let's protect the kids first and get the scumbags off the streets.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 7 months ago

The news reported that this guy was a KU student.A sophmore I believe.

Todd 8 years, 7 months ago

If police entrap a suspect the charges will not stick. Clean police work can put away the bad guys whereas sloppy police work let the bad guys walk. That's why it's important to do it right.

DukeBilgewater 8 years, 7 months ago

It's not entrapment. Legally, entrapment means that law enforcement has used means so coercive that the accused did something they would not normally do. Clearly, neither hypothetical above constitutes entrapment.

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

Reality check, are you serious? 14-year old girls definitely should be protected from 19-year old men. And, if these (and other) men are soliciting young girls on the Internet, they would solicit actual girls as easily as a police officer. Would you rather wait until these girls get raped, beaten up, pregnant or killed before doing anything? I think prevention is the way to go here. If you believe the laws on statutory rape should be changed, then advocate for that. But until then, it is a crime, and one predicated on the idea that underage girls (and boys) are not capable of the judgement required to exercise reasonable care and consent to sexual activity. Actually, given the lack of judgement in older teenagers and young 20-somethings, sometimes I wonder if we should raise the age of consent, drinking, driving etc.

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

There is actually some evidence that until the age of 25, certain structures of the brain are not fully developed, and these structures are involved with the activity of judgement, according to a biologist I once knew.

mom_of_three 8 years, 7 months ago

Reality, Would you rather have a 14 year old on the internet trying to get information for the police? I think not.

jafs, I have heard that same information about the brain, but that doesn't account for the 25+ year old year old men and women who still email kids inappropriately.

I agree with you, Todd, about doing things the right way for charges to stick. I don't think this was entrapment. But as a parent, I just want them off the streets and the internet.

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

Mom, I don't think we'd eliminate all bad behavior by raising drinking, driving ages, etc. But we might eliminate some!

Ken Miller 8 years, 7 months ago

Here's the problem: 19-year-old dirtbag sees Internet as tool to lure girls. This time, girl turns out to be cop posing as girl. But most times, there really is a little girl/teen conversing with dirtbag. I strongly agree that 19-year-old is a bad, bad person - but there NEEDS TO BE some parental oversight of child using computer - I have a ten-year-old daughter and I am spending an increased amount of time talking to her about her Internet activities, so I can (God Willing) head off any problems.

mom_of_three 8 years, 7 months ago

Too bad there wasn't anyone watching the 19 year old use his computer!

Ken Miller 8 years, 7 months ago

No, there isn't anyone watching the 19-year-old. If there was, we would most likely be in the People's Republic of China. And for that I am thankful.

badger 8 years, 7 months ago

This isn't the first program of its kind, and the others seem to be experiencing modest success.

Want to see some screwed-up? Set up a Yahoo or MySpace profile as a 15-year-old girl, allow messages from unknown senders, and see what sort of IMs you get. You don't have to look very hard for these dirtbags at all.

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