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[flagged] Convicted of sex crimes, but with no victims (nytimes.com)
109 points by apsec112 60 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 123 comments



I think a big chunk of the population are follower types who could be convinced to go along with all sorts of things. These people are generally going to behave as society expects them to, or at least as the last persuasive person they talked to expects. I think the type of sting operation described in this article could ensnare millions of such people, few of whom would have ever felt any impetus to commit this sort of crime.

The subject of this article certainly displayed poor judgement, but wasn’t any kind of danger to society without this scenario constructed by the police. I don’t think public in any way benefited from this operation. All it did was take a productive member of society out of commission. I think this is like the time the government put out a bounty on rabbit heads, so farmers started breeding more rabbits. The farmers are the police and the rabbits are sex offenders.


Yeah. If police is coming up with ways to manufacture victimless crime, they obviously don't have enough to do in real crime, and we can defund them and save the money.

If they are coming with this while there is real crime unsolved, well, they are doong it wrong.


> The subject of this article certainly displayed poor judgement, but wasn’t any kind of danger to society without this scenario constructed by the police.

I don't agree. The whole point of sting operations is that they enable police to catch people that pose a danger to society by catching them in the act.

In this case we have a man in his early 20s caught actively trying to meet a 13yo girl for sex.

The same man stated he already had sex with 5 or 6 other girls like this, although he didn't specified their ages.


I’d agree with you if the supposed victim wasn’t a 24 year old who provided pictures of themselves in the lead-up to the meeting. To me, it reads like the police constructed an interaction where it would have been clear to the target of the sting in the moment that he was engaging with an adult (which was indeed the truth), but that included a few phrases that show evidence of guilt when removed from that moment.

I think the police could have demonstrated much more convincing evidence of guilt if they had someone who looked like a 13 year old answer the door, and recorded the man’s reaction.


> I'd agree with you if the supposed victim wasn’t a 24 year old who provided pictures of themselves in the lead-up to the meeting.

That's quite the disingenuous take on the case. You're just cherry-picking the age of the police officer tasked with the sting. During the whole sting the same agent repeatedly made it very clear that the girl he was trying to meet to have sex was 13 years old. That fact didn't discouraged him the slightest and, just like he did 5 or 6 times before, we went to meet the 13 year old girl to have sex with her.


I think you’ve made a big error in your reading of this story if you got the impression that he regularly hooked up with underage girls. He regularly had sex with women, like many men. A history of having sex with women is not evidence of him being a child predator. Neither is going to meet up with someone who looks 24.

If the police wanted to target actual child predators, they wouldn’t be sending out photos of 24 year olds. It seems like the were targeting non-child-predators with bad judgement. Maybe finding the real predators is too much work.


Yeah look at this pic again: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/08/30/magazine/30mag-Ne...

That's not the picture of a 13 year old, not even by a long shot. Could easily be someone in their 30s ++ even.

That task force obviously threw ethics well and truly to the wind.


> I think you’ve made a big error in your reading of this story if you got the impression that he regularly hooked up with underage girls.

I said he admitted he already had sex with 5 or 6 girls of unspecified age the same way he was caught trying to have sex with a 13 year old girl. That's what he did, and that was his motivation when he knowingly tried to meet that 13 year old girl.

> A history of having sex with women is not evidence of him being a child predator.

Trying to meet 13 year old girls for sex is the evidence of him being a child predator.

> Neither is going to meet up with someone who looks 24.

The girl repeatedly stated, and made it quite clear, that she was 13 years old. That fact, which was made quite clear to him and he acknowledged and fully understood she was a 13 year old girl. Still, the fact that the girl he tried to meet repeatedly stated quite clearly she was 13 years old was not deemed by the criminal as a good enough reason not o have sex with her.


>Users had to certify that they were 18 or older, but at the time Craigslist didn’t verify users’ age. People described their appearance in personal ads, then sent photos that didn’t match. Some seemed to enjoy role playing. He once replied to a post describing an attractive 21-year-old, but when he arrived at the address she gave him, an old man answered the door. He got out of there fast.

Yeah and the 60 year old man that cat fished him also repeatedly stated that he was an attractive 21 year old women so everything people tell you on craigslist must be 100% truth even if they provide a picture that completely disproves what they have said.

Come on cragislist is full of bullshit. You can't trust anything people say on that platform.

> That's what he did, and that was his motivation when he knowingly tried to meet that 13 year old girl.

He saw the picture of an adult women and then met an adult woman. Is that really against the law nowadays?

>The girl repeatedly stated, and made it quite clear, that she was 13 years old.

Quite clear by showing an image of an adult woman?


My wife guessed late 30s, when I showed her the pic with zero contest. Something about wrinkles on forehead.


> Yeah and the 60 year old man that cat fished him also repeatedly stated that he was an attractive 21 year old women

What's your point? Having sex with a 21 year old woman isn't a crime.

Perhaps you could have a point if he tried to meet a 21 year old woman that actually was an underage girl, but the convicted sex offender never mentioned anything similar to that.

> Come on cragislist is full of bullshit.

The underage girl he met online made it quite clear to him she was 13 years old. That fact popped up repeatedly during their chats. Intentionally ignoring the age of an underage girl just because you want to have sex with her isn't a valid legal defense.


> The underage girl he met online made it quite clear to him she was 13 years old. That fact popped up repeatedly during their chats.

"The underage girl" does not exist. "That fact" is a fiction, and Hambrick would not have been imprisoned if Net Nanny had not entrapped him with a picture of a 24-year-old police officer (that Hambrick correctly identified as an adult) and false messages written by a middle-aged detective.


So just to be clear, is it your belief that Craigslist personal ads are mostly written by children? A person who says they met up with some girls from Craigslist before should be presumed to be voluntarily confessing that they have been meeting children?


> So just to be clear, is it your belief that Craigslist personal ads are mostly written by children?

The ad the convicted sex offender replied to was explicitly written by children, a fact that he was repeatedly made well aware and acknowledged during his arrest.

> A person who says they met up with some girls from Craigslist before should be presumed to be voluntarily confessing that they have been meeting children?

He replies to an ad posted by a 13 year old girl, and he was quite aware the underage girl he was trying to have sex with was indeed 13 years old.


> The ad the convicted sex offender replied to was explicitly written by children

No, it wasn’t, it was written by a police officer.

> He replies to an ad posted by a 13 year old girl, and he was quite aware the underage girl he was trying to have sex with was indeed 13 years old.

Did he not repeatedly explain why he thought the person he was talking to was not 13?


> No, it wasn’t, it was written by a police officer.

The ad was posted by a police unit conducting a sting operations designed to catch child predators, and not only did the underage girl depicted in the ad stated repeatedly she was 13 years old but she also sounded like "an immature teenager".

> Did he not repeatedly explain why he thought the person he was talking to was not 13?

The convicted sex offender acknowledged he was fully aware the girl he tried to meet for sex was 13 years old.


>The convicted sex offender acknowledged he was fully aware the girl he tried to meet for sex was 13 years old.

Did we read the same article?

>>They pressed him on why he wanted to have sex with a 13-year-old. He answered, repeatedly, that he didn’t believe she was 13: Her picture didn’t look like she was 13; he thought she might be a grown woman engaging in role play; people online lie all the time, so he went to see for himself; when a woman who appeared to be in her 20s opened the door, he followed her inside for sex.

>>“I do not believe that you came here to verify if this girl was 21,” the detective said. “You couldn’t help yourself.”

>>“If she was 13, I was going to turn around and walk away,” Hambrick said.


That's silly, though. If you meet someone claiming to be 13, you shouldn't meet up with them for sex whether or not they're lying. This is just an attempt to shut down the operations that catch pedos as a step towards normalizing it. Nobody is being fooled here.


> This is just an attempt to shut down the operations that catch pedos as a step towards normalizing it.

No, this article exposes Net Nanny as an entrapment scheme that imprisoned a 20-year-old man for meeting a 24-year-old police officer. The ethics of Net Nanny are as questionable as the ethics of privately owned prisons, since Net Nanny focuses on maximizing convictions from situations it haphazardly creates, rather than solving real child sexual abuse cases.


That's not "entrapment" under the legal definition.

This is like saying that bait cars don't help with car theft because nobody would've stolen the car if they knew it was a bait car.


The difference is that the "bait" used in this case is a 24-year-old woman with a wrinkled forehead:

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/08/30/magazine/30mag-Ne...

Hambrick was imprisoned for meeting the 24-year-old woman (who he had identified as an adult), not a 13-year-old girl. There were no children involved in any part of his case. Theft from a bait car is still theft, while meeting a 24-year-old woman is not meeting a child. If the middle-aged detective had not provided a false age to Hambrick, then Hambrick would not have been imprisoned.

The fact that Hambrick was imprisoned is a failure of the American legal system's ability to recognize the harm of using false information to induce someone with no criminal record to perform an action that would lead to that person's imprisonment.


This whole thing is about trying to find and out for pedos to slip into their chats to avoid getting caught in a sting operation.

The bait is always fake. No normal person is going to go to the house of someone who claims to be 13 for sex. It's either the FBI, an actual 13 year old, or someone not mentally able to consent to sex. In no event does going there make any sense to a normal person.

Moreover, the premise of the headline is absurd. Not allowing any victims to be created is the ideal. If everyone willing to engage in pedophilia ends up chatting with a cop and landing in jail instead, that's the best case scenario.


> If everyone willing to engage in pedophilia ends up chatting with a cop and landing in jail instead, that's the best case scenario.

The woman was 24 years old, had the appearance of an adult, was identified by Hambrick as an adult, and had her messages written by a middle-aged man, so there is very little evidence that Hambrick would have been willing to engage in pedophilia. Imprisoning people with no criminal records for crimes that they are suspected of being willing to commit is a situation straight out of Minority Report.


The idea that he was going to rape someone with mental issues does not make things any better in my mind.

Rather, this reads like an attempt to create a new defense for pedophiles who get caught in sting operations. As far as I'm concerned, the author of this piece, Michael Winerip, is adjacent to them.


There was no age mentioned in the ad.


> There was no age mentioned in the ad.

The underage girl featured in the ad repeatedly stated her age. When he replied to the ad, the convicted sex offender prompted her about her age and she made it quite clear to him that she was indeed a 13 year old girl. That fact didn't discouraged him from trying to have sex with the underage girl, and he proceeded to try to meet the underage girl with the express goal of having sex with her in mind, which ultimately led to his arrest.


>During the whole sting the same agent repeatedly made it very clear that the girl he was trying to meet to have sex was 13 years old.

No. One officer sent the man pictures of a 24 year old woman and lied to him that she was 13. That is anything but clear. I might agree with you if the police had sent no pictures, or pictures of a minor.


> No. One officer sent the man pictures of a 24 year old woman and lied to him that she was 13.

No, the officer conducting the sting happened to be 24 years old. Yet, not only was the girl making it quite clear she was indeed 13 years old but also the whole sting operation was conducted based on the depiction of a 13 year old girl.

Even the article, in spite of its spin, makes it quite clear that the 13 year old girl the man tried to meet for sex sounded like an immature teenager.


Most 20-somethings sound like immature teenagers in text to me.

Let's imagine all the facts were the same, but the police sent a picture of Nancy Pelosi instead. And when the poor schmuck showed up with a condom in his pocket, Nancy herself beckoned him in. Are you still going to convict him based on text proclaiming that she's 13?

Now, are you saying - without any reasonable doubt - that a 20yo can't tell the difference between a 13yo and a 24yo?

At the very least, if these sorts of stings are going to have any credibility, the police need to try harder.


> Let's imagine all the facts were the same, but the police sent a picture of Nancy Pelosi instead. And when the poor schmuck showed up with a condom in his pocket, Nancy herself beckoned him in. Are you still going to convict him based on text proclaiming that she's 13?

The girl who posted the ad stated repeatedly she was 13 years old. The convicted sex offender was fully aware he was meeting a 13 year old girl with the express goal of having sex with her. It makes no difference if the girl had posted pictures of herself or the pope. She stated she was 13 years old, the convicted sex offender knew he was 13 years old, he was fully aware he was meeting a 13 year old girl for sex, and he was caught by the police while knocking at the door of a 13 year old girl to try to have sex with her.

And your best argument against all those facts is that you feel that pics people send online in dating sites are the source of truth, and all the facts all in the open, including the sex offender's own admission he was meeting a 13 years old girl to have sex with said 13 years old girl, should matter nothing?


What on earth? He wasn't a convicted sex offender until after this sequence of events. You're also assuming that he believed she was 13, which is contradicted by his words in the article.

HN policy is to assume good faith, but I'm finding that incredibly hard in this discussion. I sincerely hope you never sit on a jury.


>No, the officer conducting the sting happened to be 24 years old.

And happened to look like a 24 year old.

>Even the article, in spite of its spin, makes it quite clear that the 13 year old girl the man tried to meet for sex sounded like an immature teenager.

From the article:

>She used slang a 13-year-old probably wouldn’t know, like “FTP” — “[expletive] the police” — that originated in ’80s hip-hop. The vulgarities and snide tone seemed too adult.

>Detective Robert Givens, a middle-aged man, testified that he had written all the Gamer Gurl emails and texts.

How many middle-aged men have you met who can accurately write thirteen-year-old girls?


> And happened to look like a 24 year old.

Would it matter to you if it was a middle-aged man with a moustache?

I mean, the same sex offender also admitted he once tried to meet a girl for sex even though it ended up being a 70 year old man. Doesn't seem to be a problem.

> From the article:

What's your point? That children never use clichés or memes or try to act older than they are?

I mean, do you believe a 13 year old girl that states quite clearly she is 13 years old is actually in her 50s if she mentions Miami Vice?

> How many middle-aged men have you met who can accurately write thirteen-year-old girls?

According to the sex offender caught in the sting, quite a few times. In fact, the article stated he once met a 70 year old man when he thought he was meeting a young girl.


>Would it matter to you if it was a middle-aged man with a moustache?

Lol. Please, stop for just a second, and imagine that situation. This guy responds to a personal ad for sex. Gets a response that says "i'm 13" and a picture of a middle-aged man. Goes over to the poster's house, is greeted by that same middle-aged man, and goes inside.

Do you really think that guy is there to have sex with a teenager?

>What's your point?

That there were innumerable little hints that he was not talking to a teenager. The picture was a big one, the writing style, cultural knowledge from well before she would have been born, precise directions.

>a 13 year old girl that states quite clearly she is 13 years old

I'm already tired of hearing you say this. Words don't overwhelm all other evidence simply by virtue of being explicit. If I offer you $1000 in cash but tell you it's a dog turd, are you a fool for grabbing it?

Look, I'm not saying Hambrick had no ill intentions. I'm saying that there is more than enough reasonable doubt about the claim that he went to that house intending to have sex with a thirteen-year-old, and that reasonable doubt is enough to not effectively end his life.


> Lol. Please, stop for just a second, and imagine that situation. This guy responds to a personal ad for sex. Gets a response that says "i'm 13" and a picture of a middle-aged man. Goes over to the poster's house, is greeted by that same middle-aged man, and goes inside.

You're imagining situations. If you get back to reality you'll find that the convicted sex offender got a response from a 13 year old girl stating repeatedly and quite clearly that she was 13 years old, and he not only acknowledged she was 13 years old old but also decided it was in his best interests to try to have sex with a 13 year old girl.

I mean, are you so desperate to defend a conviced sex offender who was caught in the act that you even feel compelled to claim that pics people send through dating sites are the absolute source of truth regarding who that person is and is represented? Really?

> I'm already tired of hearing you say this.

You're in a discussion on how a convicted sex offender was caught by the police trying to have sex with a 13 year old girl he met online. If you are tired of hearing the facts for whatever reason, whether they are inconvenient to you or you simply prefer to cherry-pick info that makes you feel comfortable, then that issue has nothing to do with this discussion or the topic, but it's a personal issue you need to address.

> Look, I'm not saying Hambrick had no ill intentions.

The guy was caught trying to meet a 13 year old girl for sex, while fully aware that she was 13 years old. Of course he had ill intentions. That's why he, and a bunch of other sex offenders, were caught and trialed and sentenced by a court of law in the same sting.



Exactly. Would be interesting if a few people here would show their partners or friends this picture, zero content: please guess or estimate this person's age.

My wife: Late 30s.


The article also hints that this could have been an adult RPing as a 13 year old, and that would not have been outside of the possibilities for members of that community, and that the photos, and the person he saw were an adult. Its not completely B/W what he was trying to do.


And the standard is supposed to be "beyond a reasonable doubt". Surely there was at least some doubt of his intent here.


>During the whole sting the same agent repeatedly made it very clear that the girl he was trying to meet to have sex was 13 years old.

The 24yo made it very clear that she was 13yo, while using photo of herself at 24yo ? How could two opposites informations could pose as making anything clear ?


Appearance is only a reliable predictor of age for 95-ish percent of people.

While slightly rare, it’s not at all unheard of for a child to look like an adult (or vice versa).


>In this case we have a man in his early 20s caught actively trying to meet a 13yo girl for sex.

Odd, the article describe a 24yo girl actively trying to meet a 20yo for sex, advertising herself on a 18+ website, using recent photo of her, photo in which she is well beyond the age of consent of any country on earth.


> Odd, the article describe a 24yo girl actively trying to meet a 20yo for sex

The article describes a sting operation led by a 24 year-old police officer that caught a man actively trying to have sex with a girl he was fully aware was 13 year old.

He repeatedly asked her age, she repeatedly made it quite clear she was 13 years old, and he proceeded to try to meet up with the underage girl with for the explicit intent of having sex with her.


>girl he was fully aware was 13 year old.

You are mixing up fiction and fact. She wasn't 13, at best she was (poorly) trying to pose as a 13yo.

>He repeatedly asked her age, she repeatedly made it quite clear she was 13 years old

He correctly assumed her age despite her lying about it: “why did you post an ad in craigslist if your 13? You mean 23?”

Keep in mind she was on a adult website, actively searching for sex and send a photo of her as an adult.

>he proceeded to try to meet up with the underage girl with for the explicit intent of having sex with her.

Neither the girl on the photo nor the girl receiving him was underage, nor she look underage.


> You are mixing up fiction and fact. She wasn't 13, at best she was (poorly) trying to pose as a 13yo.

The sex offender caught in the sting was trying to meet a 13 years old girl. That fact was even admitted by the sex offender before, during, and after the arrest.

> He correctly assumed her age despite her lying about it:

No, he tried to downplay the fact he was actively trying to have sex with an underage girl by claiming that, when he was caught trying to have sex with an underage girl, no officer from the police department that arrested him when he drove to the 13 year old girl's address with the explicit purpose of having sex with her was really an underage girl.


Dude, you do sound like stubborness incarnate.

You’re trying to assert your subjective perception as an unquestionable truth, while everyone else is trying to make the point that this truth really is ambiguous (because of the underlying lie that the subject of the article correctly guessed.)

If anything, reading this exchange gives me the uncomfortable feeling of what it would feel to argue with a Taliban.


> The whole point of sting operations is that they enable police to catch people that pose a danger to society by catching them in the act.

No, the point (at least of the these sting operations) is that they provide a low-effort way of producing large volumes of convictions for long-sentence offenses.

> In this case we have a man in his early 20s caught actively trying to meet a 13yo girl for sex.

Was he, though? He was actively trying to meet a person who he gave concrete signs of not believing was 13 years old, in large part because they were neither 13 nor doing a particularly good job of simulating being 13.


This one’s going to get flagged to death quickly.

Apart from the paedophile angle, there is an interesting philosophical question of whether something is a crime if there is no victim, and whether you should go to jail for something you hypothetically might have done at some point in the future.

Personally, I think of Minority Report the same way as 1984: both are magnifying glasses showing how dangerous some of our tendencies are. Definitely not manuals of how things ought to be done. Being convicted without having harmed anyone is a travesty of justice.


In more typical cases it’s pretty clear cut.

Suppose you just finished working out in the gym, you’re in the locker room getting dressed, and you see a wallet and decide to steal it. Much to your dismay, when you get back to your car and look through the wallet you find your own ID and realize it’s your own wallet that you took. Well, despite your intention to commit a crime no crime has in fact taken place. You’re perfectly within your rights to take your own wallet home with you from the gym, even if you think you’re being sneaky about it.

This concept has a proper name in the law: actus reus [1]. Along with mens rea, it forms a two-part test to determine whether a crime has been committed in common law.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actus_reus


> Being convicted without having harmed anyone is a travesty of justice.

In Australia, it's illegal (and someone was convicted) for downloading a drawing of child-like cartoon character (Simpsons) performing a sexual act [1]. The rationale is explicitly that although nobody was harmed in the specific instance, the act normalizes and encourages harm to real victims.

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-12-08/fake-simpsons-cartoon...


Yeah. This is a travesty of justice. And massively hypocritical, if you don’t also punish people who draw murder scenes for normalising and encouraging violence.


Similarly in some countries it is illegal to be found in possession of marihuana (or even just xanax https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/28/laura-plumme...). In the same spirit it was illegal until relatively recently in the UK to have homosexual sex (see Turing).


> Being convicted without having harmed anyone is a travesty of justice.

Where do we draw the line though? If you're about to shoot someone and get stopped last second, should you just walk away free to try once more?

Should we be sending the signal to possible future criminals that "you either succeed in your crime, or you get as many chances to try again as it takes"?

I think intentions, to the extent that we can be reasonably sure of what they are, should be taken into consideration more than the actual outcome of an action.

The article presents a very one-sided story of some guy who didn't mean any harm to anybody and didn't believe the person he was talking to was really only 13. Assuming that that's really what happened, the poor guy probably learned a lesson and won't be as careless again (asking for some form of ID could have prevented this whole situation).

The whole point of a trial is to determine an appropriate punishment for a crime that serves to deter others from repeating it. Anything beyond that is just barbarism.


I just want to say that in the US at least as far as I know every part of shooting someone is a crime. So even if you were stopped at the last second you could still be prosecuted for assault, brandishing, etc.

If you were stopped before even trying to shoot someone though what have you really done? You approached someone empty handed?


My point is, when the intention is clear, an attempted crime should itself be treated as a crime.

What's more, if people weren't so damn emotional about everything, since it's very hard to prove someones intention, cases like the one in the article should be thrown out before ever reaching a judge.

The real evil in this story, I would say, is the typical "innocent until suspected guilty" approach people tend to have for certain crimes, specially when children are involved.

Let's be honest, the scenario of the article didn't prove anything. It gave some indication that maybe the guy was attempting to commit a crime, so he should never have been convicted of anything.


> The real evil in this story, I would say, is the typical "innocent until suspected guilty" approach people tend to have for certain crimes, specially when children are involved.

Yes, it’s really not helpful.


It’s true that this is not simple and reasonable people can feel differently about this.

> Where do we draw the line though? If you're about to shoot someone and get stopped last second, should you just walk away free to try once more?

Being caught in the act is different. I guess the equivalent would be to catch them with their pants down with a minor.

> Should we be sending the signal to possible future criminals that "you either succeed in your crime, or you get as many chances to try again as it takes"?

These people, having committed no crime, are not criminals. Putting the basement nerd with socialisation issues in the same bag as actual rapists is about as helpful as saying that a grandad who smoked weed once is like a cartel boss.

> I think intentions, to the extent that we can be reasonably sure of what they are, should be taken into consideration more than the actual outcome of an action.

The main question is “would they have raped a child had they not come across a sting operation”. You can’t punish someone for thinking something.

> The article presents a very one-sided story of some guy who didn't mean any harm to anybody and didn't believe the person he was talking to was really only 13. Assuming that that's really what happened, the poor guy probably learned a lesson and won't be as careless again (asking for some form of ID could have prevented this whole situation).

I thought the article was fairly balanced. It explained why the law came to be written and how traumatic some of the actual assaults are. It also shows how the law is abused to punish people who haven’t done any harm.

The poor guy, as you say, won’t have a second chance, and just had his prospects of doing anything useful in life slashed, and went to serve as profit generator for a prison-operating company. He’s also now much more likely to turn to crime because he can’t have a normal life anymore. He’s also not alone.

There was obviously conflicting information between what the “girl” pretended and what she showed, which is not particularly unexpected if you’ve had any kind of relationship over the internet.

They also arrested him on the doorstep before he had any chance of actually checking, which he claim he was going to do (remember, it’s the Internet, a picture of an id is no more proof than a photo or a profile text).

> The whole point of a trial is to determine an appropriate punishment for a crime that serves to deter others from repeating it. Anything beyond that is just barbarism.

Beating some people into the ground to make an example is barbarism. Particularly if these people are not particularly likely to do what you accuse them of doing. How would it square with the fact that they get harsher sentences than some people who’ve actually harmed genuine children?

This is without even considering that harsher sentences are not much of a deterrent, because the people doing this sort of thing do not expect to get caught, so don’t factor punishment in their risk analysis, if they do any.


> These people, having committed no crime, are not criminals. Putting the basement nerd with socialisation issues in the same bag as actual rapists is about as helpful as saying that a grandad who smoked weed once is like a cartel boss.

Yes, I agree with that 100%; I was referring specifically to the one statement I quoted about anybody being convicted without having caused any harm. I understood that statement to be absolute, regardless of how close someone might have been to actually causing real harm and how much they might have intended to do so.


It was probably phrased poorly, sorry. There is a limit somewhere when a crime is being done; obviously you’d want to stop that as early as possible to protect the victim, and punish the offender as such.

In this case, considering none of these people have actually seen the “children” with whom they were supposed to have sex, I find it hard to justify that a crime was about to be done. More than that, the crime was physically impossible, because there was no actual children. It’s particularly bad when following a 24 years old lady is taken as implying that you want to rape a 13 years old girl.


> Apart from the paedophile angle, there is an interesting philosophical question of whether something is a crime if there is no victim, and whether you should go to jail for something you hypothetically might have done at some point in the future.

Sentencing generally has three primary factors:

- Deterrence: The harsher the sentence, the stronger a signal we send to people who might commit similar crimes in the future.

- Rehabilitation: How do we help the criminal so that they don't commit crimes again in the future?

- Retribution: Eye for an eye.

Since there's no victim and no real harm in a sting like this, I don't think retribution should be a factor at all.

Since the "crime" was a construction by the police rather than a real-life situation, I don't think deterrence really makes much sense here. That can be left for the real-life instances of the crime.

So I think the overriding factor in sentencing should be rehabilitation. Getting people like this help so that they can control themselves. I'd say even prison is too much. Ideally, they should be released on parole while they're being treated and not added to any sex offender lists.

Were this to be the end-result of the sting, I think this practice would be totally fine, comparable to (forgive the comparison) animal control neutering strays. Better to get people help before they commit a real crime than after.


Yes, the fact that they are dumped into the American prison system, which is mainly a profit generator unfit for all three, does not help at all.

I guess if the consequence was that these people had to undergo some psychological tests it would have been better. And even so, I doubt most of them would do anything in the real life, i.e. without some convenient honey trap.

But then, it would be all cost and no reward for the police, so they probably would not bother.


You left out "containment" -- keeping people who commit crimes away from the general public and thereby denying them the opportunity to commit crimes.

In this case, the age thing is about like asking a prostitute if she's a cop and complaining that she lied when getting arrested.


There is a lot I can say about this subject, half of me is torn between keeping quiet to not harm the scientific discovery, the other half of me doesnt agree with Winston Churchill when he said "the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few", and what I mean by that is should someone suffer for some scientific experiments and discovery masquerading as law. I'll refer you to the sexual habits of the Bonobo monkey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo#Sociosexual_behaviour When David Attenborough/BBC filmed them in the 50's or 60's, it was decided that certain elements of their behaviour would be hidden from the British viewing public, instead remaining as knowledge only within academic circles.

I will also say that what you do in your life, what you say, read and reply to can be highly illuminating for some academics especially psychologists and the god like security services, but as always there is not always consensus, think Freud and his Oedipus complex etc. Another example is the Hare psychopathic test. https://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_... Now it should be noted that Jon is not qualified, but bad science exists in all areas, very few subjects are pure like maths. Some theory's gain popularity over time and others fall into disrepute. I'm also reminded of the fact we are a complex real-time (electro) chemical reaction and this also shapes our conscious and unconscious decisions.

Also I wouldnt under estimate the security services, who in my opinion carry out operations that would never get past the ethics board of a Uni and also engage in phishing attempts amongst many other things; Bitcoins is in my opinion a security services invention for reasons I wont go into here. Tor is also an obvious US Navy example although the popular reasons for existence may not be true, I guess we will never know the truth either! The Military with the police have engaged in many undercover operations for scientific discovery, because firstly if the subjects knew what was going on, you cant be sure the subjects would be acting up for the experiment or not. For a decent scientific study to take place, subjects can not be aware of the real experiment. Some examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhqnUTOkpuQ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/apr/21/uk.medicals... And it goes on elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentatio...

I wonder how many academics will pour over these posts and others for their own research?

The Tea Room Trade also known as the Tea Room Study is an interesting book to read on the subject of human sexuality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tearoom_Trade and also an unethical study.

But before you get up in arms about unethical studies remember this, criminals and war are unethical so you need to prepare for the worst, but its also why you should let the police handle it first and not go all vigilante.

Cognitive Dissonance is also a powerful force sometimes controllable sometimes not which can literally destroy people in variety of ways and arguably something the religions learnt thousands of years ago by putting the fear of god into people in order to maintain some semblance of law and order when oral tradition was the main form of education. Technological surveillance like we have today didnt exist so other methods had to be developed with the knowledge and toolset of the day and whilst mainly forgotten in the mists of time are still relevant today as part of the toolset.

Manipulation of an individual can take place in many shapes and forms. Derren Brown's recent C4 program 20 years of Mind Control showed some, not all of the methods used to control peoples decision making. https://www.channel4.com/programmes/derren-brown-20-years-of...

When watching this TV program I was reminded of some of Boris Johnsons strange interviews, initially thought to be search engine manipulation, but may have been more involved with the UK Nudge unit than we will ever find out about because unless you were in London, you wont know what else was going on in the area regarding advertising, search engine results and news stories appearing in your news feed if you lived or commuted into London. Yes its more big brother than you think in my opinion.

The biggest issue with kids and sex is its a highly volatile and emotive subject just like Religion, most people want the best for them like they do most people but our society is also setup to make us compete which means some people will stop at nothing to get one over some other people and how exactly do you interpret words written or spoken? There is an element of projection of our own desires in all communication imo. And as others have said here, where do you draw the line? Is someone like this person safer in prison or in the community. I dont think Julian Assange feels safe in Prison, but I would considering his circumstances, never underestimate the innovation of some prisoners. In many ways we are still living the failings of Religion seen as the olde worlde law and order using oral tradition because they probably never envisaged our technological developments today and acquisition of knowledge.

Every country shows the lack of foresight and influence of power throughout time, for example, many roads in the UK follow land owners boundary's unlike the US where you have blocks (avenues and streets) like in New York. Obviously geographical and economical constraints also influence decision making purposes in this road example, but the point is still relevant in all walks of life, including how best to send a message to the wider public about the rights and wrongs of life. Sting/entrap a few people and get the message out via the media perhaps?

Considering what is known today about sexual abuse with minors, education is also a massively controversial subject, do you educate primary school kids or not. The UK Stranger Danger in the 70's & 80's didnt really alert kids to family abuse, so a failing in the state, but kids are also alot like AI, in that they learn from data, which in the case of kids, is from activities going on around them, but manipulation of their curiosity, the omission to present all the facts to educate kids can also lead kids (and people) in general into drawing the wrong conclusion, reminding me of the saying curiosity killed the cat. I'm also reminded that despite being educated in something, we do sometimes forget to remember when we need it most, and its this bit which also intrigues me. The Govt knows the virtue of training, especially the security services like SAS, SBS, Navy seal, yet seeks to punish the public when they forget? Seem hypocritical to me, but lifes lessons can be harsh. The reactions of people is also illuminating, do strong views in situations like this actually give more of an insight into the authors psyche, level of education, and/or emotional stability? Its hard to quantify the level of influence beliefs and age of exposure and repeated exposure have over someone's views and decision making processes, but I whether we like it or not, our parents should take some of the blame something the legal system fails to address considering its virtue signalling and supposed adherence to following the science.


There are lots of 'victimless' crimes - speeding in your car (reckless driving), buying drugs to consume yourself (use of controlled substances), planning to murder your partner (conspiracy). The victim is either 'society' or the person committing the crime. If you commit one of these crimes you're punished for demonstrating a willingness to do what society as a whole has decided it doesn't want people to do. Whether or not that's correct is a matter for debate, but the idea of 'if there's no victim there can't be a crime' is probably nonsense. There's bound to be at least one or two victimless crimes you think should actually be criminal.


Vehicle speed can be easily measured and is a fact and an offense. Here there were conflicting informations about the other person's age and the offendents could have believed that the other person is 20+.

Let's put that differently. If your speed meeter is broken and you believe that you are not speeding, but in fact are still speeding, then the situation is clear. Here the other person was really 20+, so his judgment was actually correct.


Victimless is not victimless. I propose the criterion of counterfactual victimhood - whether given the behavior of the subject, there exists an alternate universe in which there was a victim of a crime. For instance, consider an attempted murder that failed before the murderer even got near the target. In that case, the victim is counterfactual. However, there are true victimless crimes even under this definition; crimes that never would have had a victim. Speeding for instance doesn't pass this test, but "smoked a joint at home" does. This seems to make it a good fit for my moral beliefs.


I think it's less about whether or not actually intending to commit a crime should be punished, but about whether there was ever such an intention in the first place.

The article makes it sound like this person didn't really believe that the person he was talking to was only 13 years old and, given some of the messages mentioned in the article, that sounds reasonable.

He was talking to a bunch of adult using the photo of an adult woman. People on the internet are not exactly known for never bullshitting people just for the lulz.


The problem here is that this is just the pedo version of asking a prostitute if she's a cop and the intention is exactly the same--to limit the police's ability to catch them.


No, the problem is that the people being caught aren't "them" (the actual paedophiles you would actually want to get) in the first place.


Speak for yourself, I don't have a problem with going after people trying to have sex with people who claim they're 13.


I knew someone that this exact thing happened to. Literally the casual encounters section with different women (many older) over months, and a bad choice /poor judgement one day that lead to arrest and conviction. For him, ultimately it added up to a huge pain in the ass for years but he didn't do prison time. It appears that many aren't as lucky or resourced.

It's easy to judge harshly based on the topic, but all I can say like TFA is that many of these people have no prior history and this type of police activity likely leads to just ruining as many lives as are being protected. Its similar to living in a gated community or such; a false sense of security with questionable effectiveness.

A lot of the harm for those who get caught up in this came from the Adam Walsh Act (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Walsh_Child_Protection_...) which required mandatory minimums that have now been successfully challenged in courts. If you read about Adam Walsh's story, while tragic the circumstances had nothing to do with a sexual predator type situation, and could be judged as negligence by a couple adults responsible for Adam's safety the day of his disappearance.

What I would hope everyone could support is possibly leaving these stings in place but allowing first time offenders the ability to rectify the situation like the person I knew by participating in ongoing therapy and reasonable monitoring to ensure they do not pose a threat to society, and stepping things back a bit with labeling them as offenders when no actual victim was harmed and there were no priors.


The article mentioned that people being caught by the sting operation usually receive harsher punishments than people who actually commit the crime that the sting operation is supposed to prevent. It's truly absurd.


Some people get off on power, just look at what is said about politicians. How many people know women breastfeeding can orgasm? https://www.nct.org.uk/life-parent/sex-after-baby/breastfeed... https://www.todaysparent.com/family/womens-health/i-was-turn... https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1468181420003018...

Either way, whether its hormonal or not, it could explain why some usually older women get really nasty towards other mothers breastfeeding in public. Maybe these older women have difficulty reconciling the feelings and/or knowledge of breastfeeding with social norms?

Question is, is this orgasming when breastfeeding paedophilic and if so why the bias in the law enforcement, legal system and society in general? Is it simply to reduce penetrative harm and/or the mental harm that occurs when stepping outside social norms?

Such a massive controversial subject.


So she was in fact as she doubtless appeared to him on video, a woman 120% his age, not someone aged 65% of his age.

To older people it can be hard distinguishing the ages of people a lot younger. But there's no way a 20 y.o. could confuse a person barely out of primary school with someone of University graduate age.


Looking at the picture in the article, how many 13-year-olds have wrinkles on their forehead? Certainly not many at all. So in this case, it's even really easy to see that she is not that age.


Uh, in 6th grade a theater worker mistook me for a college student, and he was about college age...


So with the exception of a handful of states, mistake of fact is not a defense against statutory rape. I.e. someone who has sex with someone under the age of consent whom they believe to be 18 is still guilty of statutory rape.

The opposite is happening here, since the perpetrator isn't planning to do anything with someone actually under the age of consent - just someone whom they believe to be under the age of consent.


This is a good point. It seems we convict people for crimes they don't know they are committing, and also for thinking they are committing a crime when they aren't.

It seems they should have just had the cops hide and wait until he actually tried to make a move on the undercover "girl" cop. Him showing up out of curiosity, perhaps even concern, is impossible to distinguish actual willingness to hurt a child if the jump on him immediately and arrest him.

The subject of child rape is so terrible, we give a pass to shoddy police work. One would think that a lack of child porn, or overt sexual conversation from the guy would have made the judge think he didn't actually intend to take advantage of her without more evidence.


If you dare to look further into this topic, please also look at a child protection non-profit that considers human and civil rights as a core value and tries to bust the enormous amount of stigma that surrounds the topic: https://prostasia.org/about

You might feel uneasy about "sex positivity" being associated with preventing child sexual abuse. They also have a lot of other messages around primary prevention that might initially repel you. These days, they've got their own Twitter mob trying to shame and cancel them away, but really, "when you associate shame and guilt with sex, you are facilitating sexual abuse": https://prostasia.org/blog/the-weapon-of-shame and https://prostasia.org/blog/who-should-be-excluded-from-child...

Here's their take on offender registries: https://prostasia.org/blog/how-the-registry-harms-families/


I wonder why this comment is dead; Prostasia is a great organization that does a lot of work for artistic freedom and a better understanding of how the law and child protection organizations can help people. It stands resolutely against child abuse, to a greater degree than other organizations who may only have good intentions but not the actions to show for it.


If this could work with millions of people it’s possible to leverage chat frameworks and GPT to automate the dragnet.

With a Ring door camera the evidence gathering could also be automated. Facebook / Faceswap / reverse google image search could get us a pretty good guess at a legal name and cell number. Homeland security can correlate to online handles.

If the private face databases do not cooperate then that’s going to make life difficult, but exerting media / public pressure on them to “help catch pedos” should enforce their compliance.

Correlate this all with taxpayer and employer information too. It’s a victimless crime so a fixed penalty — 20% garnished from wages for a decade — seems appropriate. (It’s “fixed” in that the percentage doesn’t change, even though the amount does.)

Getting to trial is time consuming and expensive even if we have caught the same person that we catfished into showing up at the doorbell camera. However, if we automatically WhatsApp the perpetrator a link to a plea bargain Google Form, a good percentage are going to no-contest the charges and admit guilt via a submit form button. Degrade the video quality enough and apply some ML to match skin and hair tones. We don’t need to be precise if we make it seem like we won’t back down in court.

Tie this all into the IRS and we of course will automate the fines collection. 20% of average income multiplied by a million would be a significant enough revenue to cover the salaries of our consultants and admin staff.

Moreover, sir, there will be a significant impact on your reputation with key voters. According to our analysis of private conversation sentiment in the most volatile quintile in key swing states, this proposal will be sure to secure you a third term in office.


Do it like in Germany. Just send out a letter to every citizen asking for money with some neatly hidden clause that you admit guilt of the supposed crime if you pay the fine. Doesn't actually matter if there is any meat to it. Some people will sign it simply because they can't afford a lawyer.


Sentences that are too short, or too long, are both a byproduct of a lack of latitude on the part of the judge to apply reason and common sense. Our system a judge's "bias", but then end we up with a bureaucracy instead of a human who can see nuance.

Mandatory minimum sentences have the same effect. The prosecutor uses the fear of the sentence to get a guilty plea and negotiates a plea bargain. This means people who should have gotten a fair trial in front of a judge and a jury are scared into pleaing guilty and letting the prosecutor decide how much time they will do by framing the plea offer. We bother to have judges to prevent this stuff, and should use them.

Mandatory minimum sentences have the same effect


O.U.R. published response to the NY article here:

https://ourrescue.org/blog/the-new-york-times-misses-the-poi...

> the new york times misses the point: not preventing children from being sexually victimized would be the real misservice to society


> Emails and text messages contained in his court record show Glant arranging through online communication to meet “Hannah,” a police officer posing as a mother, to engage in sex acts with her two daughters, ages 6 and 11.

Not a very good defense of Net Nanny. This is reminiscent of the Prenda Law case, in which a law firm shared pornography (that it produced) on BitTorrent, and then threatened legal action against individuals who pirated the films. Those individuals may very well be willing to pirate other films, but they would have never pirated Prenda Law's films if Prenda Law had not uploaded them in the first place.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenda_Law


Seems like yet another instance of "give up your rights, think of the children" case.


What right? The right to invite someone online that you believe to be 13 years old to have sex?


> you believe to be 13 years old

There is no evidence that this was the case here.


That's his defense, of course, that he didn't believe this person despite them continually saying that they were 13.

But if you find someone pretending to be 13, you have to be incredibly stupid to go along with them for sex, whether they're lying or not. I mean, right or wrong, you're in trouble.


People are doing incredibly stupid things that hurt nobody but themselves all the time. Should we put these people to jail?


If the incredibly stupid thing is trying to hook up with people who claim to be 13-year-olds, I'm going to say "yes."


Give up your rights to send sexually explicit messages to 13 year old girls online and arrange to meet them in person when they are home alone to "play video games"...?

Yes.


Let me ask the opposite. If you are trying to meet a 13 year old girl and the girl on the other side is sending you a fake picture of herself pretending to be 24 year old, pretending to speak like a 24 year old, and in general pretending to be a 24 year old except when asked how old that person is, then why on earth would you meet that person? Anyone who was interested in underage girls would want to make sure that the person they are talking to is actually underage. That guy completely failed to confirm that she was actually 13, he made the "really stupid mistake" of confirming that the person he was talking to is 24.


She said she was 13.

If you're so naive that you think this was just a silly mistake by a man who wanted to play video games with her then you're so naive there's little point in continuing this discussion.

No man in his right mind continues the discussion at that point. Even a sociopath would have the good sense to end communications out of concern for his own safety and freedom, even if he had no concern for the safety and happiness of the child.

You're welcome to describe to me the type of man who continues to message a 13 year old online even after she has shared her age, taking that discussion to the point of explicit sexual messaging, and arranging to meet privately where she is alone.

He just wanted to play video games, right? Why not wait until the parents are home and introduce himself? We both know why.


*24


It makes no sense to be looking for child predators on adult sites, by pretending to be teens who are looking for random adult strangers to offer free sex to. Real child predators are not likely to fall for this. Vulnerable people who are curious and confused are the ones falling for this trap. Here is how to catch real child predators (video below). These people have done it right because they really were interested in catching child predators. Running sex sting operations on adult sites (to catch child predators) is just a lazy, easy way. It’s much easier to create fake crime, by targeting vulnerable people and fooling them into playing the role, and it’s a fact that it’s all done for money. Doing this has brought them in so much money.

https://youtu.be/dbg4hNHsc_8

Here’s the reality of how they trap vulnerable people. (Watch and listen to the video)

https://floridaactioncommittee.org/watch-oral-arguments-in-2...

Here’s a very interesting article about the cult group that has been behind this scam.

https://americancrimejournal.com/operation-underground-railr...


> She used slang a 13-year-old probably wouldn’t know, like “FTP” [Fuck The Police]

This, I am afraid, represents a rather naïve view of 13-year-olds.


The story of how the ADHD man was set up by the power hungry sting op disgusted me; the pic of the officer with the headphones looked like that of a young adult. His challenge of the age went unanswered, from what the report said.

My impression of the US is steadily not improving.

The only FTP I'm familiar with is that of a certain protocol... (Mid 40s, two decades in Australia).


me too brother.. me too :-/


Also everyone knows it stands for File Transfer Protocol.


This reminds me of the case of Dan DePew, where a police officer got too deep into an investigation to let it go. The NYT cases are less involved, but the ethical issues are almost identical: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/02/05/the-fatal-ensnaring... I find this kind of approach to police work very unsettling.


>I find this kind of approach to police work very unsettling.

Especially since this "too personal involvement" is celebrated in each and every TV cop show and movie, it seems...


I'm not a psychologist but from what I understand some people who have urges for young people just like some people have urges for people of the same gender. Obviously I have no problem if someone acts upon their urges towards people of their gender, but do have problems with people who act upon urges to young people. I would assume that in such case some form of voluntery conversion therapy would be useful. Similarly if someone has urges towards their gender but would prefer for whatever reason (to be more normal, to follow their religion, to have kids, ...) they would like to have urges towards the opposite gender, I see no problem with voluntery conversion therapy.

One big pet peeves of mine with a lot of left leaning people is that they are pro gay because "it is their choice and doesn't effect me" yet they are against voluntery conversion even though the same logic holds. And before anyone says "they aren't proven to work", maybe we should allow scientists to work on that. After all, if armies have been able to convince POWs to fight for them patriotically against their country, I don't think it should be that hard to get people to love certain people


> to be more normal

The assertion that opposite-sex attraction is "normal" and that same-sex attraction is abnormal is not supported by science. Homosexuality was removed from the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1973.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_psychology

The American Psychological Association advises against conversion therapy because it is ineffective and potentially harmful:

> The American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates. Even though the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity, the task force concluded that the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation. Thus, the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.p...


> The assertion that opposite-sex attraction is "normal" and that same-sex attraction is abnormal is not supported by science.

I don't know what "science" you are referencing but according to the NY times [0] 0.003% of marriage in the US are homosexual. To put that into context 0.006% of the population has 2 different colored eyes [1]. I would call someone with the same color in both eyes to be more "normal" than someone with different colors.

Now to the point. It may be true that there is no scientifically proven conversion therapy, but that is the case with many psychological characteristics. Many people have mental "things" (I won't call it a mental issue because it is not inherently bad, but you get my point) that science has no proven way to treat. But scientists continue to try to find a treatment. Of course there are limits to what they can try. Shocking genitalia is not allowed for any therapy and as such is not allowed for conversion therapy. But there are many other effective methods that psychologists use to help people who want to change.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/upshot/the-most-detailed-... [1] https://www.medicinenet.com/heterochromia_iridis/article.htm...


> I don't know what "science" you are referencing but according to the NY times [0] 0.003% of marriage in the US are homosexual.

That is an absolutely terrible argument, and your numbers are also incorrect. The NYT article said, "In 2014 there were 183,280 same-sex marriages in America, roughly a third of 1 percent of all marriages," which is 0.33%, not 0.003%.

More importantly, same-sex marriage was not recognized nationwide in 2014, and the Supreme Court only later declared same-sex marriage a fundamental right in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). Finally, the number of gay marriages is not an accurate indicator of the number of gay people. Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges, only 7.9% of LGBT Americans were married to their same-sex partner.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/212702/lgbt-adults-married-sex-...

About 4.5% of Americans identify as LGBT in a 2017 Gallup poll, and the current percentage is likely to be higher due to social stigma, which is stronger for older generations who lived during periods of lower LGBT acceptance. Only 1.4% of traditionalists (born 1913-1945) identify as LGBT, while 8.2% of millennials (born 1980-1999) do the same.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/234863/estimate-lgbt-population...

The APA makes it very clear that homosexuality is normal.

> The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981; Bullough, 1976; Ford & Beach 1951; Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953). Homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder (APA, 1975).

> APA is concerned about ongoing efforts to mischaracterize homosexuality and promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed and about the resurgence of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.p...


This is ridiculous and yet another demonstration of the absurdity that they try to sell as US "justice" system.

So let's summarize.

1) Guy is looking for adults on an adult page

2) Adult women(24) with an adult picture says she is 13

3) Guy probably thinks like "okay, doesn't look 13". Which arguably is stupid, given that US citizens should know how stupid the US is when it comes to minors.

4) Talks more

5) Women says again she is 13

6) They agree to meet anyway

7) Guy drives to her home and she greets him. She is obviously a grown women.

8) Guy gets arrested for child rape

Yeah sounds about right. God bless America!

So let's rewrite the story a bit:

1) Guy is looking for some mint on craigslist

2) When asking the seller why the mint "makes people high", the seller says it's actually weed.

3) Guy thinks, okay, doesn't look like weed, it looks like fucking mint

4) Guy says, I will buy this mint anyway, looks like mint

5) Seller says again "Dude, it's fucking weed, but okay"

6) Seller sells the mint

7) Guy receives the mint in his mailbox and opens it

8) Cool it's mint, smells of mint, looks like mint.

9) Guy gets arrested for drug possession

Erm what?

In the real world, that cop should have been suspended for false advertising and the seller's account as well.

Good thing the world has no other problems...


is being punished for attempted murder unjust because you failed to hurt the person and thus there is no victim?


If I had to come up with an equally just sting where the crime is attempted murder, it would go something like this:

Officer: “I’d love if you’d bring some chocolate ice cream to our date! By the way, I’m deathly allergic to chocolate.”

Rube Sting Target: “Allergic to chocolate? You’re joking, right?”

Officer: “What’s your cell number?”

...

Officer: “See you soon! Don’t forget to pick up that death by chocolate on the way!”


Even though it's a very sad story, that comment made me laugh.


Add on “and then when you arrive you see the officer eating chocolate, but get arrested when you hand them a piece”.


It's a good question, though one could argue that, if you fail to hurt a person there is no "murder victim", but there is an "attempted murder victim". If you actually make the attempt. If you only "plan" to murder someone, then never go attempt to go through with your plan, I don't believe you have committed a crime. You have the cross the line of taking direct action to initiate the action. Though if you plan with others, "conspiracy" to commit a crime is itself illegal, even if you don't take other action to act on it.

The plot loophole in Minority Report is that they could have just stayed near the victim to protect him/her and waited until the perpetrator actually crossed the line of making an attempt, and arrested the person for attempted murder. Forget the whole central dilemma of the movie.


> Though if you plan with others, "conspiracy" to commit a crime is itself illegal, even if you don't take other action to act on it.

Generally, someone (not necessarily you) must take an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy for conspiracy to be a crime.


Have you seen Derren Brown's "The Push"? Do you think the people there should be charged with attempted murder because they thought they were murdering someone?

I would argue that people should not be held responsible for their actions in contrived scenarios that are unlikely to actually occur organically. E.g. most of the guys charged here wouldn't actually have sex with a child, because in reality children don't look and talk like adults.


Sometimes it is.

There was a really sad case a couple years ago, where the FBI ran a sting on a schizophrenic teenager and convinced him to buy "explosives".

According to his mother, the kid was a disorganized schizophrenic, who could barely leave the house on his own.

If you ever watch some Terry Davis videos, you'll know that paranoia, and expression of pretty virulent racism, can be among the symptoms which schizophrenics suffer from.

I was pretty convinced that kid was unlikely to engage in terrorism if he hadn't met the FBI out on the Internet. Didn't seem like justice to me.


Dude, read the article? This is like a cop posing as a cow and trying to say on "slaughterYourCowToday.com": "Hey look, I am actually a real human being, please don't slaughter me"... But hey, the picture of that cow shows a freakin cow. Now the guy drives to the farm and is greeted by a fucking cow. He takes a gun and tries to shoot the cow. But the police rolls in and arrests him for attempted murder...

Yeah sounds like justice to you?


Sorry it was abundantly clear she said 13. He knew what he was doing was wrong full stop.


The officer said 13 and sent a picture of someone nearly twice that age. Backing away would be a reasonable response on Hambrick's part. Not sending someone to prison because he ignored an obvious lie would also be a reasonable response on the part of the police.

If I offer you $1000 in cash but tell you it's a dog turd, are you a fool for grabbing it?


I’m actually 12 and as such should not be on this website. Should the moderators be held accountable for not deleting my account, even though I have previously discussed my experience in college?


Possibly. There are laws like COPPA that companies have to follow around storing the data of children under 13, and they may delete your account after learning your true age, rather than undertaking the efforts that the law requires, lest they risk getting into trouble.


I know about COPPA; that is why I specifically chose “12” and not “13” ;) I brought this up because I am fairly sure the the moderators know enough about me to say that I am not actually 12 regardless of what I state here, which is the point I am trying to make: does the law require one to take statements made by a person on the Internet at face value if they seem patently false? If yes, is such a law practical and/or reasonable?

(FWIW, Y Combinator forbids children under the age of 13 from making accounts for this reason. However, when people have done so in the past it has usually been tacitly ignored for reasons pertaining to “it would be a net loss for everyone if we enforced this”.)


>does the law require one to take statements made by a person on the Internet at face value if they seem patently false? If yes, is such a law practical and/or reasonable?

Doesn't this effectively legalize fraud? If you order a product on Amazon and something else arrives you'll have to take the merchant listing at face value because it was communicated over the internet.

You are a construction worker and go on Amazon and order a power bank. It was actually a fake listing by a third party seller.

Two days later the package arrives, you unpack it only to discover that you have received a brick instead of the promised power bank.

You dispute the sale and send an E-Mail to the third party seller. You tell him this product is red, it is square and it is heavy, it's a brick, not a power bank.

The seller responds. Yes, the product is red, it is square and it is heavy, it's a power bank. Here is a picture of the power bank (shows the brick).


> does the law require one to take statements made by a person on the Internet at face value if they seem patently false?

[IAAL but this is not legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction if you need legal advice.]

For the purpose of COPPA, the standard is "actual knowledge." Under that standard, if you have an honest and reasonable belief that a claim is untrue, you can discard that claim. If, on the other hand, your belief is unreasonable under the circumstances, or you just ignore all self-reported ages and assume they're all false, then you could be liable.

For the purpose of the law at issue in the sex crime case in Washington state, I do not know what the standard of knowledge is (but it's almost certainly lower than actual knowledge, given the outcome). The instructions given to the jury were not reported.




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