Saturday, April 6, 2013

How to run a sting operation to catch online child predators

Time   Online sexual predators are among every parent’s worst fears, and protecting children from them is difficult — by the time a parent learns of the issue it can often be too late. But one Detroit father decided to take matters into his own hands to keep his 13-year-old daughter safe from a man who was allegedly seeking to take advantage of her.

Antoine Martin told WJBK-TV that he suspected a one-time volunteer for a local youth organization was attempting to lure his daughter. But Martin set up a sting operation that turned the tables on the alleged child predator, and delivered the unnamed suspect into the custody of the Detroit Police.
Here’s how Martin saved his daughter “To Catch a Predator” style, in five easy steps:
4) Know the Law.
Martin had earlier looked up the Michigan Penal Code for citizens’ arrests and followed them to the letter. He also had witnesses present, and was careful not to coerce a confession out of the suspect. However, Charlie Langdon, a legal expert, told WJBK-TV that the confession could possibly be challenged in court. “Can the father do what he did?  The short answer is yes.  Now, does the suspect have some rights?  Yes.  I would say the first thing would be entrapment.”
5) Inform the Police as Soon as Possible.
After the confession, Martin promptly called Detroit police and explained the whole story. Cops took the suspect into custody, where he awaits arraignment. Martin also gave copies of the online conversations he had with the man while posing as his daughter to the police as well. A spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan said the suspect has not been a volunteer there in three years and that they conduct background checks of all their staff.
“Just being around the kids, you’re supposed to be there to help the kids… to me it seems like he was taking it as an opportunity,” said Martin.  ”It’s not just for my daughter, it’s for my daughter’s friends, the other members of the club. I had to make sure that this stops.”

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