He worked full time and when he was not tending to his mother he would just come home and go to sleep. He said he felt like doing nothing else. Stopped talking with friends, stopped going out, just wanted to be alone. He was totally out of character and depression can creep up on us without us even realizing it. Even if you know something is wrong, you figure it will get better but the truth is it may take you hitting rock bottom until you finally come to your senses.
So one night on his cell phone (because he did not have a computer) he decided to go onto the ADULT classified section of Craigslist to maybe find someone to talk to. To get some kind of release. He felt as though he was in a different world. He felt "numb" to the world. A release would be nice. He answered one of the ads and started to email back and forth with this women. At first the conversations were pretty normal. Later on they started to get sexual. Sexual in a bad way. The conversations turned into something you and I would never in a million years talk about. She introduced her child into the conversation. Him not thinking about it played along. Had the horrible conversations, said things that he thought this woman wanted to hear. I am not going to lie, he said some bad stuff. Immoral things. Things that now looking back he can't believe he said. But this is not who he was. He had no intent to go onto this adult classified section and pick up a kid. He was not preying on children. He was talking to what he thought was an adult. An adult with a wild imagination. And the consequences of this one wrong choice, this bad event has changed the rest of his life.
Was he wrong. Of course he was. Did he need some kind of psychological help. Yes we believe that he did. He was acting out of character. He was living in a make believe world. A world that he had never explored before and had never been in before. This man is NOT a child predator. I lived with him with a child of my own. I know him very well. You do not wake up one day and just become a predator. It does not work that way, but according to Florida law you do.
Because of some of the newer Sex Offender laws, internet crimes are treated differently than most other crimes. He had no intent to go onto the internet to find a child, but that did not matter. In other crimes your previous record and your life has a baring on your conviction. With this crime that does not matter. It made no difference that he has never been arrested, accused or has never been involved with a child in any shape or form previously. He is labeled a sex offender. And not just for the 6.5 years he will be serving in prison, but forever. He will have probation for 15 years and then have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
I know that there are people who are going to read this and say, good he got what he deserves, but unless you know a person, unless you have dealt with depression in your life, you cannot judge. I am all for putting sex offenders in prison. I have other blogs that promote keeping our children safe, but this man is not a risk to children.
This is the only crime where double jeopardy is not illegal. And what I mean by that is that they are allowed to charge you with the same crime for each individual email conversation that you have with the undercover cop. So if you are speaking back and forth with the same person about the same thing 10 times, they can charge those 10 emails as separate charges.
If cops and under covers are allowed to go onto ADULT based websites and seek out lonely, depressed men who are looking for sex or a woman to talk to then they should have some sort of mandatory mental evaluation prior to locking these men up. They should be obligated to research their backgrounds fully. His phone was checked he had no child porn on his phone, he had no indications of being interested in child. Nothing but those conversations with that woman.
I will continue to share information that I have learned and share my experiences with you. He was on house arrest for 6 months and has been in prison now for 3 months. It is a hard adjustment but I am hopeful that others will share their experiences and have the government take a second look at these laws. Many states have banned these type of internet stings for the simple fact that they are considered entrapment. They are preying on men who in the real world are not interested in children. In another post I will go on to explain the risks of going in front of a jury or taking a plea. He opted for a plea and I will explain why.