A sting in which police teamed up with “Dateline NBC” to catch online pedophiles in the Dallas suburb of Murphy has turned into a fiasco, reports the Associated Press. One of the 25 men caught — a prosecutor from a neighboring county — committed suicide when police came to arrest him. The Murphy city manager who approved the operation lost his job in the furor. The district attorney is refusing to prosecute any of the men, saying many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs.
“Certainly these people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but the fact that this was all done for television cameras raises some questions,” said Mayor Bret Baldwin. It is the first time in nine “Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator” stings in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges. “Dateline” has made prime-time entertainment of contacting would-be child molesters over the Internet, luring them to a meeting place, and videotaping their humiliating confrontations with a reporter.