As I said before, when you are arrested for a sex offense in he state of Florida you are automatically put into one category. Like other crimes, these crimes should be looked at individually. They should be determined case by case. I know that the government is looking out for the best interest of our children, and I believe that is so important, but when you throw men in prison for so many years their punishment should fit their crime.
My boyfriend had no prior history of interest in children. He is not and never was a child predator. He talked about some crazy things with an undercover cop in an internet sting on an adult based website. When this happened I started to do a lot of research. I spent many hours looking at inmates currently incarcerated for sex crimes to see what they were charged with and how much time they were spending in prison. I found that there are sex offenders in prison who are doing a lot less time than my loved one is and their was an actual child involved. It was not some immoral conversations with an adult. Yes most of these cases are before the year 2004 when the new laws took affect, but that is my point. Ever since that show came out "To Catch a Predator", arrests from internet sex stings have sky rocketed. Do you really think that all these men are child predators? Because of the big hype of the show, law enforcement is throwing man after man in prison for sex related crimes. Most of these men are not prowling for children. They are looking for sex, for companionship. Many are depressed or lonely and easily take the bait of an aggressive woman. They bring the ideas and thoughts into the minds of these men. They prey off of an already sexually charged mind and then turn around and arrest them. Something is really wrong.
By no means do I think that they never catch a real child predator, but when it comes to cases like this, where the sting takes place in an adult chat room, one where you are suppose to be 18 to have access need to be reevaluated.
I will explain why he took a plea. This is one of the most difficult decisions that a person has to make after getting arrested from an internet sting. You have a number of choices.
Trial by Jury:
One you can go to trial. As I know and everyone knows when it comes to child related crimes the person accused is already prejudged and is guilty in the mind of the juror. Will every juror think like that, no but a majority will. Even if they tend to believe the person telling their story, because of what others may think or say they are not going to want to be the one to say NOT GUILTY. Because of these new laws and the ability for them to charge you multiple times for the same crime, my boyfriend was looking at something like 30 years if he went to trial and lost. It does not mean the judge would actually give him 30 years, but it was a possibility. Do you want to risk this knowing the nature of this type of crime? Even if you know you are innocent, with what I just said would you take a risk? The conversations that you had are right in front of them. Once they hear the words in a sense they will have no choice but to find him guilty. The person on trial is made out to be a monster. When you see arrests on TV you do not ever know the whole story. You know nothing about the past of this person. What they were going through or any of the circumstances surrounding the situation. They do not let you know that they were looking for adult women on an adult site. They do not let you know that after answering an ad they were approached by a woman who is aggressive and trained into saying what the men want to hear. None of that is relevant.
When making a plea you have to admit guilt. But it does not mean you think you are guilty. What are you really supposed to do? The prosecutor and your lawyer will try to come to some kind of agreement. They will plead guilty and in return you get a lighter sentence. Usually there is some negotiations between the lawyer and prosecutor, but with these types of cases the prosecutor does not really budge much as far as I can see. They know as well as we know the risk you will be taking if you do decide to go to trial. They know they have you by the ba***. But when it is you, when you are placed in this kind of situation 6.5 years looks much better than 30 years. Most sex offense cases are resolved by pleas.
A blind plea is when you do not agree with the plea that the prosecutor is offering. This is your chance to take your chances with a judge. There is no jury but the plea is now off the table. You go in front of the judge and he/she decides your sentence. Now it can be less than then the 6.5 year plea that was offered, but it could go way back up to the 30 years. Again, you do not have much of a chance. Any way you look at it 6.5 years looks better then 30.
So a plea is what he decided. And on top of the 6.5 years, he has 15 years of probation and has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. So in reality he received a life sentence for a one time isolated incident in which he spoke to an undercover office in an adult based classified about immoral actions with a minor. His actions may not be right, but they do not deserve a life sentence. If you agree please check out this petition to help men who have been arrested from an internet sting.
Millions of dollars are being spent by sending these men to prison from things that most likely can be resolved with psychiatric help. These actions usually stem from depression and loneliness and do not stem from a desire for children.
Come back to read about the characteristic of sexual predators. While state officials state that these men are likely to re-offend, I have found researching that quite the opposite is true. These men are not likely to re-offend because they were not interested in finding children in the first place.