The big news today is from Massachusetts where the Supreme Judicial Court said for the first time, on Friday, that sexual predators could be prosecuted for communicating with their potential victims over the Internet.
Now, before I paste the article, I want to give you my thoughts:
There is a lot of hoopla over the fact that this impedes freedom of speech. As you know, the 1st Amendment has granted that right and been challenged and re-worked over and over. What it comes down to is that you can say what you want in this country, thankfully, as long as your ‘speech’ does not include intention to commit a crime.
For example, on a plane, you can have a conversation about how you are afraid to fly because of people blowing up planes. But if you start saying out loud and screaming that you have a bomb or you think there is a bomb on the plane – you will be arrested.
For example, you can talk about sex with an underage person (as nasty as it may be that you are), but if you are doing it to lure them into contact or with the purpose of hurting them, those conversations can be used against you and you can be prosecuted.
There is nothing wrong with that law taking effect. I read one person’s comment that said something to the effect of ‘the next thing you know, you’ll can be arrested for saying you want to bitchslap your boss.’ There is no ground for assuming that, other than trying to make a pointless and invalid conclusion on the Internet. You will read that the judge clearly stated that a strong case has to be built.
FYI: The defendant at the center of this case says the cops initiated the conversation… I am pretty sure he is lying. Anyway, read this article and click on the link to read the comments that follow. Its very interesting and certainly a good thing for law enforcement in their fight against online predators.
The state’s high court said for the first time yesterday that sexual predators can be prosecuted for communicating with their potential victims over the Internet, a law that one county prosecutor said has prevented children from being murdered.
In a unanimous ruling written by Justice Roderick L. Ireland, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the child enticement conviction of Richard S. Disler, who had an online conversation in 2003 with a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.
“This is a very important victory,” said Jonathan W. Blodgett, the Essex district attorney who prosecuted Disler with the help of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, whose officers played the role of “Sara.”
Blodgett, who set up a unit in his office to focus on sexual predators attacking children using the Internet, said he is convinced the 2002 law has saved the lives of children. His office has prosecuted nine people since its enactment.
He cited the case of one man, who was arrested in possession of a rope, a plastic tarp, handcuffs, and a video camera as he prepared to meet a female officer posing as a teen.
“That’s pretty chilling,” he said of the items discovered by police when the man was taken into custody. “I’m convinced it prevented a murder.”
Writing for the court, Justice Ireland rejected Disler’s contention that his First Amendment rights were violated and that the law should be tossed as a result.
Ireland agreed that discussing sexual activity, even with someone underage, is constitutionally protected free speech.
But, he added, “there is no right to free speech or free association implicated when someone entices another with the intent to commit a criminal act on them.”
Ireland also said that prosecutors must be able to document the defendant’s intent to commit a sex crime before they can convict.
Disler was placed on probation for three years, ordered to stay away from children under 16 years old, and to register as a sex offender following his conviction for child enticement, the SJC said. Disler, according to the court, testified at his trial that he was “role playing” and trying to discover the girl’s true identity so he could end contact with her. He also testified he never intended to meet “Sara.”
Disler’s lawyer, James B. Krasnoo, said in a brief phone interview yesterday he is disappointed by the SJC ruling because it leaves intact a law he considers dangerously overbroad. In court papers, he argued that the law violated the First Amendment by making conversations about sex over the Internet a crime. He also contended that Disler was entrapped. “I’m very worried about the danger that the statute could cause. It should be remembered that Mr. Disler never left his computer,” Krasnoo said. “I wonder how the intent to commit a . . . crime can be proven when one doesn’t leave his computer and never meets a human being.”
A person can only be convicted if prosecutors show the suspect intended to violate any one of the 18 sex crimes, such as rape, that are linked to the law, the SJC said.
Blodgett said his office now investigates up to 250 reports of sexual predators preying on children in Essex County each year.
“The number is growing every year,” Blodgett said. “There are more predators who are using the Internet as their weapon of choice, so it’s always going up.”
Let the record show that I will publicly state that the prev’s lawyer, James B. Krasnoo, is just as sick as the pervo. Putting morals aside to defend someone who likes to talk about f*%king little kids with other kids is just as disgusting as doing it.
The wacko convent in Texas wants to hide behind religious freedom as an excuse to take rights away from and rape adolescent girls… this guy wants to hide behind the first amendment to be able to have i-sex and instigate real sex with 14-year olds.
Freedoms weren’t granted to you could be a sick a**hole.
p.s. Parents, more proof that guys like this are out there AND think they are doing nothing wrong when they ask your teenage daughter for sex. They think that if they don’t actually do it, then it’s OK. Do you want your children talking to these guys? Use PC Pandora monitoring software to make sure they aren’t!!