Despite All The Online Sex Predator Stings, Cases Pile Up


Most of the hundreds of suspected Colorado sexual predators who are arrested after they attempt to meet children on the Internet for sex are put on a probation for a first offense, reports the Denver Post. Internet sex stings, where police pose as children, are resulting in a growing number of arrests nationwide. “A lot of the public says they should all go to prison,” said Mike Harris of the Jefferson County, Co., district attorney’s office, which has made a priority of online sex stings. Harris agrees, but “the costs would be outrageous.”

Last year, Harris’ investigations led to 44 arrests. And this year, he is on a pace to more than double the 2006 total. Regarding the common probation sentence, Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey says, “I think there is still that perception that, since you are not dealing with a real victim, that might influence sentencing in the cases.” He cites court-ordered evaluations, treatment programs, sex-offender registries, and felony convictions as positive steps in the battle against online predators. “What amazes me, with as much publicity that this gets, is that they are still out there and they still want to meet,” Storey said. “They are so motivated, even with the danger they may be communicating with a cop, and not a 13-year-old, that it still doesn’t discourage them.”


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