Monday, May 17, 2021

NYTimes booklet article on law enforcement overreach in "entrapping" possible "predators"

Kiggins Theatre-9


Michael Winerip offered a disturbing NYTimes “booklet” article on Aug. 20, 2020, “Convicted of Sex Crimes, But with No Victims”.  The tagline, “an online sting operation to catch sex predators snared hundreds of men.  What were they guilty of?”

The article describes the history of Jace Hambrick in Vancouver, WA.  He answered an ad from a girl that jokingly claimed she was 13 but that came from an adult website that supposedly screened its users for being 18 or over (he believed she was well over 18).  Now this gets into what caused COPA (Child Online Protection Act) to finally be declared unconstitutional in 2007  (and is probably an Achilles Heel for a similar law proposed now for Canada). 

When Jace went to meet the girl we has arrested, and the magazine article goes into the gory details of plea deals and sentencing and the judge’s own temperament.  And the quirks of Washington state law. The upshot is that there is too much political gain for pursuing these kinds of cases.

In fact, the case sounds like one that would have fit onto NBC’s series “To Catch a Predator” which Chris Hansen, in the mid 2000’s.  On that series, many of the john’s were foolish and not very reputable people.  So it was easy to build public interest (and ratings) in the series.

This case sounds a little different, if you read his mom’s blog.

The legal hooker might be whether the defendant really had a right to assume the contact had been screened.

He says he intended to have a conservation with her to encourage her to get off Craigslist.

Dr. Phil’s video shows him taking a lie detector test.

A fictitious screenplay called “The Sub” that I wrote and uploaded in early 2005 depicts a substitute teacher who helps a mature teen student make a fake id and gets arrested in a bar, and then the sub himself gets arrested and labeled a s.o.  At the time, the concept of the screenplay created a lot of controversy (Main blog, July 27, 2007 post).  There is some similarity to this case in that the subject perceived the teen as an adult.

Kiggins Theater in Vancouver WA, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution


Unknown said...

This post is very inaccurate. Please feel free to reach out to me if you are questioning what these police stings have really devolved into.

Kathleen Hambrick

Bill Boushka said...

I recall the case of former meteorologist Bill Kamal, who got arrested and subsequently convicted after a sting in Florida in 2004. His own account of the incident was available online for a time but is not now (I recall that the sting happened on AOL, which I use). He claimed he was not interested in having physical contact with the supposed person. But apparently he admitted to believing the person was at the stated age. The general rule seems to be, if someone says they are a particular age (under the age of consent) online and another person tries to arrange (personal, "platonic") contact of any kind, the person is presumptively guilty of attempted illegal activity in every state. But it would seem plausible this "presumption" could be rebutted??? Bottom line, is "don't do it".

Unknown said...

Hi Bill. Of course the bottom line is 'dont do it'....but two points here:

1. Young men are stupid, impulsive, with underdeveloped brains. That is science. And biologically created to seek sex at a young age. My son was all of these things at 20. What he lacked was insight, wisdom, knowledge. Should we throw the lives of our young men away because they are simple to catch doing something that could be taken as intentional even when it is not?

2. Is this what we want our LE to pursue? 'Maybe' criminals? When there is a backlog of real crimes that go uninvestigated while these stings are given precedence?

Yes, my son was stupid, not criminal. Help me raise awareness please.

Unknown said...

as a blog im sorry to say it lacks serious details and seems as if you did not put any work in vetting the information your giving. as far as the situation with the stings and the one convicted put aside the fact the they are claiming they are innocent. you blob profile says you worked in Information technology the same field im in so you should see the ethical issues on how these stings are conduct.. what im talking about is the several lack of investigation on the polices side and vetting to make sure the individual caught is who he says he is and what he says he is.. you should also know that lie detectors are not considered evidence and are dismiss able in court. frankly is sounds as if you really dont care about this topic so my question is to why post something like this if your not going to put the time or effort into it.

Unknown said...

You need to learn the facts before you spit out inaccurate ones.