Oregon Police, FBI Arrest 14 Men in Online Prostitution Sting
The Internet has completely revolutionized so many aspects of our daily lives, and many people enjoy the sense of freedom and anonymity they feel when surfing the web. Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t nearly as anonymous as people believe. That’s a lesson 14 Oregon men have learned the hard way, as the FBI and local police have arrested 14 men in two separate online prostitution stings so far this year. Criminal defense attorneys can represent men and women charged with sex crimes, but even an arrest can have life-changing consequences for the defendants.
In Beaverton, Oregon this January, four men had their names and mugshots posted online for time immemorial after they were arrested in a child predator sting, according to Patch.com. The Beaverton police and the FBI Child Exploitation Task force worked together in “identifying and arresting adults who were intent on having sex with children fifteen and younger”. The men were charged with online sexual corruption and luring a minor.
The detectives and FBI agents posed as underage kids online, then communicated with the men to arrange a sexual encounter offline. Because sex crimes are taken so seriously, most defendants will choose to work with criminal defense attorneys if they have the resources to hire an attorney. However, even if criminal defense attorneys do represent the defendants, the mugshots and arrest records are already online for the world to see.
Then, this February in Corvallis, detectives with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office cited 10 men on misdemeanor Commercial Sexual Solicitation charges. During a two-day prostitution sting, detectives posted fake escort ads online, then communicated with men who were willing to arrange payment for sex. That was enough to break Oregon’s solicitation laws. The Sheriff’s Office said that this will not be the last online prostitution sting they hold.
Any prostitution attorney in Oregon can tell you that these online stings are far more common than many men and women realize. Police departments, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies often work together to conduct these online prostitution stings. In a recent national sting resulting in 1,000 arrests, two out of five of the arrests were the result of online prostitution ads.
Sex crimes such as solicitation are taken very seriously in the U.S. court system, yet everyone is entitled to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. However, this presumption of innocence doesn’t hold up in the court of public opinion, which is why hiring sex crimes criminal defense attorneys is often a wise decision for men caught up in these online stings.