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Um... feelin' a mite wonky.

Watching a Dateline special where they hired Perverted Justice, an internet-based organization that traps online child predators.

On one hand, I really despise the Perverted Justice website. While I don't condone sexual predation of any kind, I rather hate entrapment, and I get truly frosty at the smug-fucker style that the site throws down. Of the 24 guys arrested, 11 remained in custody.

On the other hand, I am slightly mezmerized by watching guy after guy spill his guts, and then getting busted. Except the one guy who just got up and walked out. It's the ones that confess that get busted, d00dz.

(A mental heath counselor for teens. Cripes.)

But watching the ones that do talk, some of them lying through their teeth, these aren't the slimy, greasy, aqualung-looking mouth-breathers that I think of when I think sexual predator, they're pretty normal-looking guys. All of 'em look self-esteem challenged. Meek. Skinny as a rail to a lot pudgy. They look a lot like geeks.

Some of them are married. Some have kids.

Kids.

I wonder whether some twist of fate, a decision made, some event in my past being done differently would have turned me into one of these same guys. I can't fathom what the hell would push me there, but it's not that far away that I can't imagine it happening.

Then again, I can imagine myself killing someone, too.

Rather than do it, I write about it.

Which makes me wonder if a movie would work. Something done from the predator's point of view.

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
sageincave
May. 18th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
"The Woodsman" I think. Not that I've seen it yet.
ignusfaatus
May. 18th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
it was a tad trite but kudos to Bacon for involvement. I was glad of the production
dracut
May. 18th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
I thought it was fairly well done and is an interesting look from the other side.
sageincave
May. 18th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
Catching a child predator makes entrapment justifiable, although I think that there are lines that are maybe being crossed that shouldn't be, with the enticement these operations arrange. It's all in the subtle details of the online set-up, which we don't get to see on TV.

Oh yeah, also entrapment is good for catching people who are trying to hire hit men.
magicmarmot
May. 18th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Catching a child predator makes entrapment justifiable

I can't agree with that. "The end justifies the means" is an argument that has been made many times to justify abuses from small to large scale, and is one of the most abhorrent concepts that can ever be used by those in power.

Entrapment is never justifiable in a free society. That is why there are laws against it. And when the entrapment is for thoughtcrime, my blood really turns cold.

I believe that there is a better solution. I'm not sure what it is yet, but I think it does not include national TV shows and gloating.
ignusfaatus
May. 18th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
hhhmmm. there is this elementary school teacher from Bemidji who used lime wire to download the sex pistols. He got child pron instead. He opened it and then used software to erase it. Later he needed some work to his computer and the school IT guy noticed the erasing software and did some forensic analysis. He got three years and fired before conviction. He is married.
Theres no way that was fair
themadblonde
May. 18th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
As I understand it...
catching a child predator decreases the numbers of children abused EXPONENTIALLY. I don't much like entrapment either, but to reduce the number of abused children from over 100 to 30, that's seems worth it.
magicmarmot
May. 18th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: As I understand it...
I'm still torn.

First of all, I have some issues with the claim that catching a child predator acts as a deterrent to that degree. The numbers would be incredibly difficult to actually correlate (how do you prove a negative?) and they are much higher than deterrence rates for other crimes. The numbers sound much like the claims of the RIAA in calculating "lost revenue" from internet downloads of MP3s.

Even assuming that it does have deterrent properties, what you end up with is a bunch of guys who have been chatting online with adults (none of the decoys that they use are actually underage) and have actually had no contact with children. The crime they end up pleading guilty to is one of intent, not substance. That rides dangerously close to thoughtcrime.

Leeway here, because these guys actually physically traveled to the location, most because they thought they were actually going to have sex with a teenage girl/boy/possibly cat. There is some physical act involved, but it is still intent.
purplesquirrel
May. 18th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
Technically what they do is not entrapment. Entrapment would be if one of them initiated an IM and proposed an encounter. They let the pervs make the first moves and all the suggestions. They do not ever suggest meeting and usually give the pervs several opportunities to bail. I don't have a problem with their methods. They let the idiots hang themselves.
magicmarmot
May. 18th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Entrapment has an element of enticement to it.

The thing is that the Perverted Justice folks actually do troll and initiate conversations, but because they are not Law Enforcement they don't live by the existing rules that govern entrapment.
magicmarmot
May. 18th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
"The goal of this website and our endeavors is to create a "chilling effect" in regional chat rooms and other easy targets of opportunity online such as social networking websites."

Such as livejournal and myspace.
purplesquirrel
May. 18th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
I thought that they never initiate the conversations. They make up fake accounts and just wait for the pervs to come to them.
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
g33kgoddess
May. 18th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
I checked out the parents guide for that website. Here's my opinion. Any person that has been proven to purposely go looking for children to indulge in any kind of sexual activity - chat, pictures, video or in person - should be prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law. Period. A sexual predator (man or a woman), whether they're going after an innocent 5 year old or a precocious teen, it's still wrong... and they know it.

These people that are caught by Perverted Justice are in these online chats with the intent and belief that they are communicating about sex with minors. I hope they all get their dicks (or clits for any sicko ladies out there - because they do exist) caught in their zippers when the police show up at their doors.
magicmarmot
May. 18th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
Any person that has been proven to purposely go looking for children to indulge in any kind of sexual activity - chat, pictures, video or in person - should be prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law.

And that is my beef. To me, proof requires a rigorous legal standard because we are talking about criminal behavior. Perverted Justice does not follow a rigorous legal standard because they don't have to. They aggressively and actively search out "predators" and plaster them all over before they've had a court date.

What I saw on the TV show had a bunch of men that were indeed looking for sexual activity with minors. I have no problem with putting them away.

What I have a problem with is the methods. While common perception is that the online predators hang out in teenage chat rooms looking for their prey, that is not always (or even usually) the case. PJ does initiate contact, sometimes out of the blue, and often with sexual content.

And then they gloat.
sageincave
May. 18th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
That's the enticement and gray area I was talking about.

I read some of Perverted Justice's transcripts, and they seemed to be "pushing" a bit to hook their men.

I also have a problem with these people being put on TV and the internet right away. It *is* theoretically possible that some of them *did* show up to tell the teen not to troll for sex.

That being said, I think that most of the men deserved what they got, in terms of legal repercussions.
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g33kgoddess - May. 18th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magicmarmot - May. 18th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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