We get a lot of the same questions over and over again. Below are some of the most common questions that are asked as a result of these stings and our answers.
There are typically two scenarios for these sting Operations. 1) Post as an adult then changes the age from >18 to 12-15 year old (typically 13 or 14). 2) Post as a parent pimping out their child. Since most, if not all, are on an ADULT DATING or HOOKUP site they are their to meet and adult for sex. There is disbelief when someone changes their story. So, the person continues the conversation to see what the deal is. On most Dating and Hookup sites people are lying and the only true way to find out is to meet in person.
Additionally the target is often given no reason or suspicion to believe the person they are talking to is the age they claimed to be (via picture or language/conversation tone). Generally, if someone says their age, regardless of the age, there tends to be an assumption that person is lying. [Most on a dating/hookup app will tend to default towards a lying rather than truth bias.]
Disbelief the person is really a minor or there is a minor on the other end of the conversation. Could be a form of Role Play as well. Often times in the conversations a person will not explicitly say or agree to have sex with a minor unless prodded to keep the conversation going. The general consensus here is to show up at the location to determine and see what is really going on.
Other potential reasons:
It is best not to trust those you meet on the internet without seeing and talking in person. Assume everyone is lying. The internet does not provide any verbal or body language cues on what is going on. Some will show up simple because they do not believe the age being stated (Role Play, lying, etc.).
Police use clever tactics (psychological manipulation) and don’t give up until they get the target to agree to meet. Police will only agree to meet if the target says they agree to have sex with a minor. Targets give up and give in.
Oh yes they can. Without lying and some deception they can not make a case. The police use psychological manipulation to draw targets into their scheme. They get the target to warm up to them, do a bait and switch on the ages and help coax them into a very questionable and dubious situation (sex with a minor or child). They will come out and ask if the target is a cop and say they are not cops. Once the targets guard is let down the conversation will continue until there is enough evidence to incriminate the target. Once the target gives in and states they will have sex with a child/minor the trap house/location address is offered up. Often they will have the target stop at a gas station or similar where surveillance is watching prior to the address being provided. The police will try to stack charges by getting the target to talk to a minor, bring some money/drugs/gifts/alcohol and perhaps even bring multiple minors into the conversation. We’ve seen people in Washington State arrested with 4-5 charges and receive 20 year sentences as a result of these stings.
Here is something we put together about what we’ve learned from reading the comments on the YouTube videos of the Dr. Phil show filmed in 2020. These responses are specifically one of the son’s cases but apply to so many more of these cases too. Reading people’s comments has helped us better in understanding people’s thinking on this subject matter. If you have any questions on this topic let us know and we will provide our answer based on ours and others experiences.
We know law enforcement is trying to help but our experience is these stings shows how pathetic the work law enforcement is doing and how shameless they are to be calling this work saving and protecting children from online predators.
Ok, well, he knows now that our society expects for anybody who comes across a 14-year-old girl online in an adult content place to just stop communicating with her right away and let her continue to go look for random adult strangers to request sex from them. Got it! He didn’t know that before, but he knows it now. Next time he’ll just do what everybody else would have done. Let her move on, so she can go find other men to demand sex from them. Problem solved!
Well, since he doesn’t date, hit on girls or anything like that, I just didn’t think about it. Why would I think of something he’s clearly not doing? It never occurred to me that it could be a real possibility that he might someday come across a desperate teen on an adult dating website who would be looking for adult men to have sex with (just because she was BORED and was curious about sex) and would be pushing (even demanding) this from him. Silly me for not thinking of that!
Silly him for not thinking of that! That would have solved the problem! Craigslist would have removed the 3 ads she had posted as a woman seeking men, showing her desperation to find somebody. Someone that desperate to find somebody would have never thought of just going somewhere else to find adult men to demand sex from them. Gee, I have no idea why he would have thought this girl would have just moved on to find other men to request sex from them. Again, he knows now that our society expected for him to let her go find other men to demand sex from them. Got it!
“Hello, police? There’s a 14-year-old girl on Craigslist, Casual Encounters, No Strings Attached looking for a man to have sex with because she’s bored and curious about sex.”
Police: Oh, yeah, this is very believable because this happens all the time! What do you mean you had never seen or heard of this before? Of course, it’s a real 14-year-old looking for random men to have sex with. We’ll be right over to go rescue her from herself and get her to stop demanding sex from men on Craigslist.
Oh no! Lock him up! Don’t forget to also lock up the idiot pretend heroes who created this sick fantasy about teens being so desperate for sex that they go to online adult places seeking random adult men to request sex from them (because they’re bored, curious or whatever). Who the heck would even come up with something like that? Well, obviously someone who has fantasized about it. Then they go around pushing their own sick fantasies on men who were clearly not looking for minors and had likely never even thought of this or would have ever thought of it until these sick people came along pushing their own sick fantasies on them. Let’s lock them up for thinking about this! They’re obviously dangerous child predators for thinking about it!
Oh, yeah, of course, everybody knows that there are teens in these adult places looking for adult men to have sex with because they just get bored, curious or whatever. Silly guys for not knowing exactly how to handle this situation. Everybody knows exactly what to do when they come across one of these teens in these adult places who are looking for sex with adult men. Duh! How can anybody be confused or tricked by this?
It is absolutely wrong to assume that these individuals arrested in a sting operation would have “raped” a child if police had not intervened.
Police justify what they are doing by saying that they do this because there are minors being trafficked on adult content platforms. However, there are no minors being sold for sex in these cases. The reality of these cases are completely different situations. Do not be fooled by reading the press releases and media reporting of these sting/trafficking operations. Dig deeper if you want to learn the truth.
If anything what police and prosecutors have been doing with these sting operations fits the definition of human trafficking perfectly. They are the real human traffickers. Kay Buck, an expert on this, provided a simple definition of human trafficking, “One human being exploiting another to make a profit.” When looking at the FULL facts of these cases, this is exactly what police and prosecutors are doing. They are targeting vulnerable men in vulnerable places to use for this scam. And then they turn around and LIE to everybody about it. None of what they did has anything to do with trying to save and/or protect children from online predators. It is all done for the sole purpose of MAKING A PROFIT. They falsely claim to be trying to save and protect children from online predators because this is their cover up for this scam. This form of human trafficking that is not yet acknowledged for what it is, not only exploits the direct victims, it also exploits the public’s ignorance and true fears of child predators. This type of human trafficking has so many more victims than the traditional types of human trafficking.