Though her profile indicated she was a minor, he perused her photos and then initiated a conversation.“It said on there that the gal was 14 but I had been looking on these sites for months, and I was finding out that women, as well as men, didn’t tell the truth about anything,” Tom said.
“In order to be on them, you have to be age 18 or older, naturally.
But defense attorneys question the arrests of people who, in some cases, may be role playing in the fantasy atmosphere of the Internet with no intent to victimize children.
Critics also have raised questions of entrapment and have questioned a law that allows people to be arrested on a felony solely for things they say in a chat room.
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In 2006, for example, a California judge threw out a case against Joseph Roisman, who was arrested in an online predator sting.
After hearing six days of the prosecution’s trial testimony — before the defense presented and before consideration by the jury — the judge dismissed the case and accused Perverted Justice, the online watchdog group that set up the online decoy, of entrapment.
In that case, the defendant’s court-appointed attorney, John Rich, argued in a motion to dismiss that the Oregon child corruption law is unconstitutional because it suppresses speech even in cases in which the speech does not cause harm.
Last May, a photo from the undercover account popped up on his screen to indicate that “she” had looked at his profile, he said.
That was the first electronic contact between the two.
Seeing this age 14, I knew that was a lie.” He suspected, he said, that his contact was a female adult who was lying about her age.“When you go online for five minutes and you’re talking about sex, that’s not the way people talk in real life,” he said.
“When you see things like that online, it makes you wonder, is that person being who they are or are they role playing?