I'm an aspiring writer, but overall, I am an American who seeks a better United States of America. Come join me in my journey of truth.
Most of us know who Chris Hansen is. He is the fallen journalist who once hosted the series To Catch A Predator on Dateline NBC wherein he and his crew set out to catch adult men who mostly contacted underage girls online and arranged to meet with them off the Internet for liaisons. In other words, he conducted online sex-sting operations on camera.
The suspects in those same online sex-sting operations that police arrested usually ended up behind bars and eventually had to register as sexual offenders with their local authorities. Nobody disputes the fact that these individuals underwent an endless amount of public humiliation and their lives were over as they knew them. Even Mr. Hansen admitted that these suspects' immediate family members suffered collateral damages as a result of their being exposed to the entire world for their intended indiscretions with minors.
Since that same television series first aired earlier in the 21st century, there have been numerous discussions and disagreements over whether such an exhibition on camera was a form of entrapment. Some Americans believe that this television series beneficially waged war against Internet dangers. Others believe that the National Broadcasting Company ("NBC") was only looking to make an easy buck in playing on the fears of society.
After this same television series led to the suicide of an assistant district attorney in Texas back in 2006, it all eventually came to an end and NBC ultimately fired Mr. Hansen. Mr. Hansen subsequently made independent attempts to revive this entire entertainment vehicle of his on his own after gathering the private funding that he needed to do so. However, the best years of his television career remained long behind him afterwards, and Mr. Hansen was never able to recover the degree of professional stature in the television entertainment industry and in the news media that he once possessed. Not even his cult following was able to bring him back to the place in his life where he was in control of so many people's lives in front of the camera.
Nowadays freelance online sex-sting operations have cropped up everywhere on YouTube and on the Internet in general. Video vigilantes are mirroring the crusade that Mr. Hansen first introduced to American television viewers back in the early 2000s. As a matter of fact, this trend has become a part of American pop culture. However, at what cost?
Authorities often complain about these same video vigilantes interfering with their investigations. In the old days, people insisted that police officers were spending more time writing traffic tickets than chasing after criminals. Nowadays it appears that there are more cops posing as minors online to catfish adult men who seek unlawful sexual relations with young girls and even young boys than there are ones chasing after speeders on the road. This trend has contributed to the rapid increase of sex-offender registrants ("SO registrants") inasmuch as the majority of these cases lead to guilty verdicts and even prison time.
Movements have materialized throughout the United States of America to push for laws that would outlaw these online sex-sting operations as a form of entrapment. One such movement is called the Florida Action Committee, and they have been raising money to support this same cause of theirs. A major concern that this one movement has is that individuals are needlessly landing on sex-offender registries and being raked over the coals by authorities for victimless crimes. Their opponents argue that action needs to be taken before a real victim is harmed. It brings to mind the days that I was a strong Lutheran and there was this one teaching about punishment for the uncommitted sin.
Before any of us draw any conclusions over what our lawmakers need to do to address the concerns that anyone has about online sex-sting operations, we should take a good look at the bigger picture and decide for ourselves what the best course of action would be for our elected officials to pursue. After you read this entire article here of mine, I am certain that many of you are going to have mixed feelings about this topic rather than taking one side or the other. This topic is not as black and white as child advocates and their opponents want us to believe that it is. There is an entire myriad of information regarding this topic that most Americans don't know about and would appreciate learning about to make a more informed decision on how to deal with this same topic, and we're going to explore such information herein.
The Protection Of Small Children Under Eleven Years Old
Whenever Americans hear or read about an unscrupulous individual harming a small child under 11 years old, most of us want the law to throw the book at that person and make that person pay for their crimes against an innocent. When that individual has committed a heinous sex crime in that event, most of us want that person to experience the full wrath of the law. Is anyone going to feel sorry for that person if he or she lands on the sex-offender registry ("SO registry") afterwards? Probably not.
A Chris-Hansen wannabe named Chet Goldstein from Texas has made a career out of catching online predators and exposing them to the world. He and his crew call themselves the Predator Poachers. Unlike Chris Hansen, Mr. Goldstein has no problem going after individuals who attempt to hook up with small children under the age of eleven. Mr. Goldstein has numerous channels on YouTube where he posts videos of this nature. He also goes under the name of Gordon Flowers and Alex Rosen.
Now, I do not necessarily agree with everything that Mr. Goldstein does on camera. I realize that some of his practices in the Internet-safety industry are highly unorthodox. However, whenever he focuses his efforts on making the world a safer place for children who are of elementary-school age or younger, I feel that he deserves at least some praise and recognition for doing so. At the same time, I do feel that he should be required to obtain a private investigator's license before being able to continue on conducting online sex-sting operations, but that's just my opinion.
In the summer of 2021, Mr. Goldstein caught this one man who was attempting to meet up with an 8-year-old girl to engage in unspeakable acts with her after chatting on the Internet with what he thought was a girl that age. After Mr. Goldstein caught the suspect, the suspect looked like a schoolboy who was sitting outside the principal's office waiting to be punished. He is an SO registrant. The video of this whole event is below for you to view.
A Registered Sex Offender Attempts To Hook Up With An 8-Year-Old Girl For Lewd And Lascivious Purposes
Even though there is no actual victim in this situation, anyone can see that this suspect is not someone that you would hire as a babysitter, to say the least. Mr. Goldstein uncovers the fact that this man has a pattern of engaging in this kind of misconduct with children. Before Mr. Goldstein even begins to read the chat logs to the suspect, he gets him to confess to his unlawful depravities with kids. Some of the language in the chat logs is so graphic that Mr. Goldstein has censored it out.
In the video below from autumn of 2021, Mr. Goldstein decides to take an online sex-sting operation one step further and makes a house call to a suspect named Peter Priano who has similar dishonorable intentions for an 8-year-old girl as the suspect in the video above. Below is the video of Mr. Goldstein confronting the man at his front door.
Chet Goldstein's Confrontation With A Child Predator At His Residence Turns Into Melodrama For Everyone Involved
You will notice that the younger the victim that the suspect seeks out, the more ludicrous their excuses become on why they attempted to meet up with a child. In the next video, a suspect tells Mr. Goldstein that he was attempting to meet up with a 6-year-old girl because he was checking up on her welfare. However, Mr. Goldstein does not buy his excuse. You can watch the video below.
A Child Predator In California Insists That He Was Meeting Up With A 6-Year-Old Girl To Check On Her "Welfare"
This suspect's reprehensible actions in the above video of an online sex-sting operation bring to mind the René Guyon Society's egregious motto that stated "sex before eight, or else it's too late." This suspect is simply not playing with a full deck, and his intentions are undoubtedly unconscionable.
There is a strong consensus among the public at large here in our nation that kids children under 11 years old need to be protected from the kind of people that appear as suspects in the three videos above. All three suspects in the videos above had been chatting with decoys posing as prepubescent girls before Mr. Goldstein confronted them. Nevertheless, there can be no debate that all three of these men needed to be stopped before they came in contact with an actual child.
On the other hand, whenever the topic of Internet safety for older juveniles is raised, all sorts of dissenting opinions fly from every direction. The argument of teenage promiscuity is injected into the conversation whenever anyone questions the fairness and the legitimacy of online sex-sting operations. Our nation's age-of-consent laws get attacked as being behind the times and unconstitutionally too broad. Then everyone who opposes online sex-sting operations wherein decoys pose as young girls between 12 and 15 years old wants our lawmakers to get rid of all the SO registries throughout the United States of America. The tide shifts on how Americans feel about the topic.
The Impact Of Teenage Promiscuity On American Sexual-Offense Laws And Sex-Offender Registries
Before I delve into this sensitive area of this topic, I would like to stress that I am well aware of the tragedy that befell the late Amanda Todd not too long ago. The law should have dealt harshly with the perpetrators who were involved in the reprehensible crimes against this youngster. I am not denying that there are unscrupulous individuals out there who lure young girls into toxic situations similar or identical to that of the late Amanda Todd. However, there is also a side to this topic that does not get brought up often enough and that causes many Americans to question the integrity and the fairness of the sexual-offense laws and the SO registries here in our nation.
As there are many Americans losing their virginity at very young ages on their own volition in this day and age, there has also emerged this massive group of men known as incels who are either losing their virginity later in life than intended or not losing their virginity at all. Therefore, our nation has an entire community of men fitting this same description who are vulnerable to the manipulation tactics that law-enforcement officials and the likes use to catfish adult men on the Internet into embarrassing confrontations with the law for sexually-based offenses involving make-believe minors. Even though these men know the difference between right and wrong in a general sense, they lack the social skills to keep themselves from falling for such tactics. Therefore, the world around them has become dangerous and difficult for them to prosper in it romantically.
Gonzalo Lira, who goes by the name of Coach Red Pill on YouTube, once had a close call with American Federal officers who were obviously surfing the Internet to make a random arrest of anyone they could accuse of a sexually-based offense against a minor. Below is a video wherein he describes this same incident.
A Federal Officer Posed As A 15-Year-Old Girl Online In An Unsuccessful Attempt To Entrap Gonzalo Lira
Fortunately, Mr. Lira had the experience and the wherewithal to deal with the trying situation involving a bogus 15-year-old girl online as it presented itself to him. In figurative language, he had been around the block enough times to realize that some Federal officer was trying to trick him into doing something illegal that he probably would not normally do. However, if Mr. Lira had been a middle-aged incel who had never had a girlfriend or had even as so much been sexually active before in his entire life, this same situation may have ended badly for him.
Too many men who fall into this trap find themselves facing needless time behind bars and ultimately descending into the nightmare of spending a lifetime on an SO registry. Some know-it-alls may come back and tell these men to avoid such problems simply by going on a dating app and finding a woman their own age. However, it is more complicated than most Americans realize. Most of these men have situations with romance that can be best described in the lyrics of the song below.
The Song Titled "In And Out Of Love" By Diana Ross And The Supremes
Whenever a man over the legal age of majority hooks up with a girl on the Internet who is barely in her teenage years and he arranges to meet up with her in person for sexual intercourse, usually nobody is going to feel sorry for him in the event that he gets caught and faces the legal consequences of his actions. However, when the suspect and the decoy are both teenagers in an online sex-sting operation, discord is bound to erupt within the court of public opinion. Below is a video of Chris Hansen catching a 19-year-old man attempting to meet up with a 13-year-old girl for a liaison.
Chris Hansen Catches A 19-Year-Old Suspect Who Was Seeking To Have Sexual Intercourse With A 13-Year-Old Girl
Even though the above episode of To Catch A Predator never aired on Dateline NBC, it went viral all over the Internet and it sparked controversy among everyone who viewed it. Some people who saw it thought that the 19-year-old suspect in it named Richer Breault looked like someone's nephew and should have been left alone. Others argued that if they had caught him with their 13-year-old daughter, they would have made him face the music in the harshest way possible.
In any event, after this young man got caught, it is obvious from the way he broke into tears and became melodramatic on camera that he realized at that moment that his life was about to take a turn for the worse. He probably wished that he had stayed in bed that day. Anyhow, any time I have reviewed the comments section of any YouTube channel that has this same video of Mr. Breault posted, I have found YouTubers arguing back and forth with one another on whether he was old enough even to have been lured into something this humiliating regardless of what the law may have had to say about it.
At one point in the video, Mr. Hansen looked as though he was going to hug the young man and console him in a fatherly manner. If Mr. Hansen had actually done so, it would have been a memorable moment in the history of his television show; and his fans would have been questioning what had come over him to make him feel sorry for this young suspect.
It is to assume that after Mr. Breault finally left the sting house, the police were likely outside waiting to arrest him. If his parents bailed him out of jail, he was probably crying throughout the entire drive home; and his father probably made an extremely disgusted look at him and said to him, "Don't you even say a word, because you know what you did!" Mr. Breault probably kept apologizing to his parents through his tears. It had to have been a bad scene for all involved.
In 2020, an episode of Dr. Phil first aired on television in which Dr. Phil McGraw invited guests on his show to discuss whether or not sex-sting operations were a form of entrapment. Below is a video of that same television show in its entirety.
Women Complain To Dr. Phil McGraw That Authorities Entrapped Their Adult Sons In Online Sex-Sting Operations
The above episode of Dr. Phil presented three different true stories in which two men barely in their twenties and a 35-year-old former surgeon were caught in online sex-sting operations. In all three cases, none of them ever came in contact with a minor.
The first scenario involved a 22-year-old gentleman named Sebastian. After hearing him speak his mind, various characteristics about him were apparent. He was an incel. He was inexperienced with females, and he likely never participated in the teenage dating scene back when he was an adolescent. He didn't have even one trait of someone who would have engaged in anything inappropriate.
Sebastian's mother, Aracely, even stressed to Dr. Phil that her son had never been in any kind of serious romantic relationship with anyone, and, therefore, it would have been completely out of character for him to become aggressive about hooking up with anyone of any age.
Sebastian was on Craigslist, an adults-only site, searching for a date with a woman his own age when a decoy posing as a teenage girl chimed in on him and encouraged him to meet up with her in person for what she described to be a good time. Lacking the social skills to deal with the situation unfolding before him, Sebastian became easily tempted by this decoy's charms. In any event, it became very clear that he had no ill intentions for what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl and that he even wanted to do what he described to be as steering her in the right direction.
The decoy continued to entice Sebastian into transitioning the online chat from a G-rated conversation to an R-rated conversation. Sebastian had never received this kind of attention from any female of any age throughout his life. The police eventually zeroed in on him and apprehended him. He pled innocent and was tried for "Solicitation of a Minor." The judge sentenced him to 10 years of probation as well as registration as a sex offender ("SO").
What is greatly concerning is that Sebastian may even still be a virgin. If that is the case, his presence on an SO registry is somewhat of a contradiction to reality. That is, it means that there are likely predatory monsters out there who have been subjected to less humiliation and retribution than him because of government officials who thrive off these punitive entities.
The actual idea of a virgin landing on an SO registry is absolutely insane, because our nation's sex-offender-registry laws ("SOR laws") should really be meant to apply to criminals who commit heinous crimes. I do recall an episode of To Catch A Predator in which a 26-year-old suspect told Chris Hansen that he was still a virgin. Therefore, it would make no sense if he had to spend the rest of his life an SO registry, but, unfortunately, our criminal justice system has been reduced to an oppressive police state.
Nevertheless, because Sebastian lives in Texas where Governor Greg Abbott has passed harsh laws pertaining to offenses of moral turpitude and lewd behavior, he was lucky even to have avoided prison time. Unfortunately, the press and the media showed him no mercy, and they even vilified him into something that he was not in order to drum up business and increase Nielsen ratings. They treated him as though he were the Big Bad Wolf.
This was not a situation in which a short-eyes freak was on the prowl for fresh, young flesh. The decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl even kept on telling Sebastian that she did not want to get pregnant. Therefore, it's apparent that the decoy was not posing as a prepubescent child but rather as a fertile adolescent girl. Sebastian was clearly in a vulnerable place in his life, and this decoy knew exactly how to take full advantage of his situation. She was giving him the kind of attention that he never received back during his adolescent years, and she presented herself to him as the teenaged girlfriend he never had in middle school or high school; and it all got the best of him.
Some of you may be asking what would have happened if he had actually come in contact with a real 13-year-old girl. My response to that question from what I gather about this young man is that if the 13-year-old girl had been one who likely had never had a boyfriend before like the one the police searched for as described in my article titled "American Society Treats Teenage Mothers Disgracefully," nothing would have happened between Sebastian and the young girl.
Now, if this 13-year-old girl had been a troublemaker like Alisha Dean, there is no saying what would have transpired between her and Sebastian in that event. Let's remind ourselves that Alisha Dean made a mockery of the criminal justice system in Florida after she had lured various 20-something-year-old men into bed with her by impersonating a 19-year-old divorcee on her Myspace account.
At the end of the day, Aracely is accurate in claiming that the police entrapped her son, Sebastian. She pointed out that he was romantically challenged and socially awkward in the company of females and that he has never "hit" on anyone. Sebastian hurt nobody, and there was no real teenage girl in the picture. He also lacked the actus rea to do wrong intentionally, because he had even told the police that he intended to ask the make-believe 13-year-old girl to get off of Craigslist once he met her in person.
Sebastian's biggest mistake was failing to invoke his Fifth-Amendment rights upon his arrest, because the police grilled him every way they could to find one way or another to incriminate him with whatever they could throw at him. His case warranted a not-guilty verdict by jury nullification, if anything. It was most unfortunate that he did get convicted, because he is no true threat to society.
The second guest on Dr. Phil had a story to tell that was even more outrageous than the one regarding Sebastian. A 20-year-old gamer named Jace from the Pacific Northwest appeared on camera with his mother, Kathleen, to defend his innocence of any wrongdoing. Jace complained that an adult woman on Craigslist misled him to believe that she was roleplaying with him and had assumed the fictitious role of a 13-year-old girl. Of course, she was really a decoy, but Jace had no idea what kind of trouble into which he was getting himself.
The decoy sent Jace a picture of herself. He and his mother, Kathleen, insisted that the female in the picture appeared to be at least 24 years of age. When I look at the picture on my computer screen in the video above, I find that this woman could even be in her thirties. In any event, she is definitely not 13 years old in that photograph of her.
The decoy identified herself to Jace as Julie. When she told him in the chat room that she was 13 years old, he thought that she had mistyped her age when she really meant to state that she was 23 years of age. Jace claims that even after Julie had repeated to him in the chat room that she was 13 years old, he thought that she was doing so as a part of her roleplaying.
Nevertheless, the authorities zeroed in on Jace and treated him like a dangerous criminal. Their online sex-sting operation reeks with all the elements of entrapment. They charged him with the "Attempted Rape of a Child," even though there was really no victim in the picture. He was found guilty and had to serve 18 months in prison. He also has to register as an SO for life, and he is on lifelong parole as well. This young man really got the bum rap.
A Lieutenant Brandon Pursell from the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made an appearance on this same episode of Dr. Phil to explain how online sex-sting operations were conducted. The first flaw in his school of thought was that he lumped the cases involving small children under 11 years old in with those involving teenagers, which was his biggest mistake. He was very flamboyant about everything he said. He got into an argument with Kathleen at one point in which they discussed whether or not he and his colleagues were using their online sex-sting operations to apprehend people for thought crimes rather than real crimes.
The third guest that had fallen into similar circumstances as Sebastian and Jace was a 35-year-old former surgeon named Joseph who had gotten into trouble with the law for chatting with what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl on the Internet and making plans to meet up with her in person for sexual intercourse. I do not condone what this man did, although I do take into account that the decoy posing as a teenage girl had egged him on and had kept pressuring him into meeting up with her for sexual intercourse at a time in his life when he was not at his strongest.
One mitigating circumstance that Joseph mentioned was that the picture of herself that the decoy sent to him looked like a 26-year-old woman rather than a 15-year-old girl. When Dr. Phil McGraw showed the chat logs to his audience, it was revealed that Joseph had missed out on the teenage dating scene back when he was an adolescent. I would not doubt that when he admitted to the decoy that he had never had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl before then, his curiosities were aroused.
Even though I am not seeking to justify what Joseph did that got him caught in the online sex-sting operation, I do have this one request to make to anyone reading this article here of mine. Before anyone passes judgment on this gentleman, we all need to take a good look at our nation and focus on the epidemic of deadbeat teenage fathers that has caused problems for school-age girls throughout the decades. Society cannot rightfully blame all the problems of pubescent and adolescent girls on older men, because there are more than enough boys younger than 18 years old who are wrecking havoc in the lives of these young girls.
Finally, Dr. Phil McGraw brought this one criminal defense attorney on his show whose name was Peter Aiken. Mr. Aiken claimed that he did not want an anarchy of depraved promiscuity on the Internet involving teenage minors, but he also stressed that he did not believe that adult men 24 years of age and younger who got caught in online sex-sting operations were the main threats to kids online.
Mr. Aiken explained that the kind of defendants that he had worked with in cases like these were usually in the 19-to-24-year-old age range and perhaps were socially inept or had other personal issues that made them susceptible to falling into these types of situations with the law. Mr. Aiken had handled 55 cases of this nature in 14 different jurisdictions. He claimed that he was all for laws that would deter young men who fit this description from reoffending, but he did not believe that it was in the best interest of the public at large to send a 19-year-old young man to prison for getting caught in one of these online sex-sting operations where he could become a real victim and become subjected to sexual violence.
Mr. Aiken's concerns are well-justified. Below is a video about how inmates treat SOs in prison.
Shaun Attwood Describes What Happens To Sex Offenders In Prison.
Shaun Attwood has served time in prison here in the United States of America in the past. He points out how being young and vulnerable puts an inmate into immediate danger as they are entering the prison system. He currently has a YouTube channel where he tells people about his experiences in prison.
There is this one gentleman named Steven Robert Whitsett (also known as River Whitsett) whose objectives as a YouTuber are similar to those of Andrew Henderson (known on YouTube as Nomad Capitalist). The difference between the two men is that Mr. Henderson helps Americans expatriate from the United States of America for any reason they see fit, whereas Mr. Whitsett assists Americans to expatriate after they have fallen into similar circumstances as him. I describe what those circumstances are in my article titled "Most Americans Probably Don't Know About The International Megan's Law."
Interestingly enough, Mr. Whitsett advises in one of his videos that Germans question the logic of American sex-offender laws ("SO laws"). You can view the video below.
Steven Robert Whitsett Describes How Unfavorably Germans Feel About American Sex-Offender Laws
In his above video, Mr. Whitsett has no problem with legislators passing laws that make it illegal for adults to hook up with minors on the Internet to arrange in-person meetings for sexual intercourse. However, he does not believe that someone should be convicted of committing a sexual offense against a person who doesn't even exist and has never existed. His school of thought makes perfect sense in that regard.
It is interesting that Mr. Whitsett mentioned in his video above that the authorities in Germany had no special task forces that conduct online sex-sting operations as what you find here in the United States of America and in other English-speaking nations. The television airwaves in the Czech Republic does have a series named V síti that has many similarities to Chris Hansen's To Catch A Predator, but I am not aware of any other television show like this in any other non-English-speaking country. Unlike with online sex-sting operations here in our nation that are shown on camera, V síti blurs out all the faces of the suspects that are detected and apprehended.
Anyhow, toward the end of the above-shown episode of Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil McGraw emphasized to the guests on stage with him who had a brush with the law that the authorities were bound to ask them leading questions in an effort to get them to incriminate themselves. Therefore, he stressed that whenever anyone got arrested for anything of that nature, they had Fifth-Amendment rights to demand to speak with an attorney before allowing for police to question them. I agree with his school of thought in that respect, because even retired law-enforcement officials will give you the same advice.