Sex on the Internet


“You’re live.” Okay. Hey. Dale Carson, attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. Author of the book “Arrest-Proof Yourself” and practicing
criminal offense lawyer in Florida. I want to talk to you about a fascinating
internet scam, but first let’s just talk about scams in general. I mean, they
predominate over not only the internet, but in criminal enterprises. For example,
if you’re selling drugs and you get knocked over by a competitor and they
steal all your drugs, most competent criminals are not going to call the
police and say “hey they just stole my drugs and my money
and my guns,” right? So it’s a crime that is vastly underreported. I mean, it leads
to a lot of gang violence, but it is vastly unreported.
But there’s another scam that’s going on that really affects particularly young
men in ways that can have disastrous consequences and here’s what it is. There
it is now and has been on the law books for a while; a crime called traveling “to
meet minors for sex,” okay? Now the key to all of this is there’s no way to tell on
the Internet, even though the internet providers with
dating sites say you can you have to be 18 years old in order to use this
service, there is no way for you to know actually whether or not the person
you’re talking to is not only this sex partner that you prefer, homosexual or
heterosexual, there’s no way you know the age of the person. That is a huge problem.
So this is how law enforcement works the deal is they find you on a dating site,
they see that you have an interest in younger people, they exploit that desire
in a way calculated to put you in handcuffs, okay? But because of that,
there’s another thing going on that’s a real scam and here’s how it operates,
okay? It’s Friday night, you got a pimple on the side of your
face, you’re not going out. We figure you’re gonna go look for some girls on
the internet, okay? So you get on the internet, you get on a dating site, and
even though it’s an 18 or older dating site, and you happen to be 19 years of
age. You search looking for love in all the wrong places and you actually find
someone who is compatible with you, or it seems to be compatible with you. The
problem is that person has an agenda and they’re going to try to take advantage
of you. They’re really going to try to take advantage of you. You don’t know
that. So she communicates with you. First it’s just texting and a few snaps, but
you’re interested. I mean it’s obvious to the person on the other end
that you’re actually very interested. So you communicate with them and pretty
soon she says “you know what, my dad’s coming upstairs. I got to get off. I don’t
want him to catch me here. He thinks I’m too young for this.” And that’s your first
clue. “Let me have your phone number and I will call you back.”
Well you’re thinking, “hey man what the heck. She likes me, this might work out. You get thinking about things maybe you shouldn’t be thinking about; what you’re
driving your intellect instead of what it should be. The result is you give her your number. That’s the upshot, right? About 30 minutes later, she calls back. Things start getting really active over the phone now.
Either via inclusive texts or actual voice to voice communication. And
you like what you’re hearing as a guy, you’re saying “I’m all over
that” okay. So things progress along and pretty soon there’s a pounding at what
you surmise is her bedroom door and you hear her say “oh my god my dad’s here, hold on” and then you hang up the phone. Smart thing to do. About 20 minutes later,
your phone rings you answer it thinking it’s going to be this young gal but it’s
not, it’s a guy. And he says in a real big voice, he
says “son, you’ve been talking with my daughter
and she’s only 13 years old.” And you go “oh my god, I’m going to jail for the rest of my life. I’ve been talking to this girl.” But
the father lets you off the hook and he does that by suggesting essentially that
you pay him money to prevent him from going to the police because you know he
has your number, your IP, all of the things that are necessary to get the
police to come knock on your door. You’re 19 years old, you’re frightened to death
and you begin the prospect of paying this individual. That’s called extortion,
okay? But first, you didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t know that she was 13. Your presumption is that she’s 18, but you’re
so scared because of the communication that’s going on between you and this
young girl and this father is just over the top and you know you’re going to be
found out and you’re going to prison and he might even tell you this but it’s a
scam. He’s going to want you to pay him money. And when you start paying him
money, he’s going to ask for more until eventually the lightbulb goes
off in your head and you go “you know what, I’m not paying him anymore” or you
get smart and call Dale Carson Law and we talk you through this and let you
understand that you haven’t done any criminal act or committed a criminal act under these narrow circumstances. And you’ve been extorted, which is a crime on
behalf of this person who’s pretending to be their father, okay? Now it is true
that in Florida you can’t solicit sex from a minor over the Internet
without running afoul of traveling to meet a minor, which is a second-degree
felony punishable by up to get this 15 years, and the designation as a sex
offender. So the way that all works out is after you’ve created that initial
connection with this person pretending to be an underaged male or female, then
what happens is they invite you go to the house and you travel any
distance to make that happen. Would you go into the house or not. Really doesn’t
make any difference. The law contemplates merely that you travel to solicit or
engage in sex with a minor. It’s punishable by up to 15 years and a
designation is a sex offender. So look, your best process here is to
think this through and realize that if somebody tells you they’re underage, even though they’re on an adults-only site, that that’s the remote possibility and
you need to conclude that conversation. You need to say “I didn’t realize you
were that age, goodbye.” And you can’t contact them again because if you do,
there is a possibility that that individual is the long arm of Johnny Law
and you’re going to end up in trouble. So there are two things to watch out for here.
One is undercover operations by police. And there’s a lot of thought now by the
actual dating sites that say 18 or over that they are going to sue law
enforcement for trapping individuals and tricking them into talking to
individuals on these sites and turn out to be at least theoretically underage. So
don’t do that. If you also are engaging in conversation and the father knocks
on the door and you begin to feel this, you need to get off the phone and cease
communications. And if you don’t have any sense at all you, won’t call a lawyer. But
if you’ve got good sense, you’re going to pick up the phone and call us. The
initial consult is free. We’re going to at least talk to you about this. This is an
old scam but it’s been going on for decades . It’s called extortion. Remember, there
was a movie you know “I saw what you did and I know who you are” and those are the common extortion matters. That is a federal violation; extortion. So you could
turn the tables on them and get them in custody and in trouble for doing this to
you. But the problem is you’re so scared, you think you’ve done something wrong,
when in fact there’s a good luck that you did nothing wrong at all except be tricked by a con man, and a thief, and a criminal.
If you have questions about this, something like this happens to you, pick
up the phone and call us. It’s not going to cost anything and we’d be happy to
talk to you and protect you where that’s possible. Again, this is Dale Carson law
Jacksonville, Florida; licensed to practice in Florida. But we have connections all
over the country that we can hook you up with to protect your rights and
interests from the justices occasionally meted out by the criminal justice system.
So we look forward to talking to you. www.dalecarsonlaw.com or you can call us (904)-355-6777. Look forward to chatting with you and answering any
questions you may have. Thanks for joining us.

Danny Hutson

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