Being charged with any type of sex crime can be frightening for most individuals, particularly when alleged victims are children. A large group of men were recently arrested and charged with sex crimes after an operation that targeted sexual predators. The arrests were the result of a sting operation launched by Maryland authorities that lasted for a year.
Police say that sections on Craigslist and other websites were monitored, and they discovered individuals who were looking for sexual partners. Authorities had conversations with the men for a certain period of time and even portrayed themselves as being young boys and girls. Eventually, authorities discovered that some of the individuals were in possession of child pornography.
One of those facing charges, a 70-year-old man, was arrested when he was allegedly caught posting an ad on Craigslist for young girls and then proceeded to a meeting with whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but who turned out to be a police officer. A 35-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly exchanged text messages with an officer whom he thought was a 12-year-old girl. He was apparently planning on having sexual activity with the girl and offered to pay her.
These charges for sex crimes are undoubtedly serious. If convicted, the men could spend a substantial amount of time in prison. However, prosecutors will need to prove that the men were actively seeking sexual relations with underage children for convictions to occur. The men have the right to defend themselves against any allegations brought against them and testify on their own behalves. They are all presumed innocent until proved guilty in a Maryland criminal courtroom.
Source: USA Today, "Sex-predator sting operation nabs 18 men in Maryland", Brian Shane, Jan. 23, 2015