How are they to tell the difference between the casual sinner and the criminal?American courts have long recognized the right of police to invent ruses. Courts and lawmakers become less and less scrupulous about basic fairness.The more frightening and reprehensible the threat, the more license and latitude are given to the police.For a variety of reasons, few of them valid, the child-molester has become the pre-eminent domestic villain of our time. In 1998, in response to growing fears of sexual predation online, Congress provided funds for the Department of Justice to create the Internet Crimes Against Children (icac) task force, which among other things provides federal grants to local police departments for programs to find and apprehend online predators.After months of prowling Internet chat rooms, posing as the mother of two young daughters, Detective Michele Deery thought she had a live one: “parafling,” a married, middle-aged man who claimed he wanted to have sex with her kids.But was he just playing a twisted game of seduction?He was excited to see on-screen that this woman, calling herself heatherscutiepies, lived in his state, Pennsylvania, and was 39 years old.He had immediately tapped her with three messages, and she had responded:—well why don’t u tell me wht ur into The sun blazed in from the window to his back porch.
Baiting her hook with this forbidden fruit, she would cast the line and wait to see who bit. Men began vying for her attention the minute she logged on, night or day.
J had about an hour before his wife would be home from work.
She knew nothing of his cybersex life, or if she did, she ignored it.
Such ordinances answer society’s quest for moral clarity, positing a direct parallel between right versus wrong and legal versus criminal.
Police patrolling the precincts of sin do not often find the streets empty.