Recently, we wrote a blog article on online sting operations similar to the To Catch a Predator television show. During these stings, officers pretend to be interested in sexual behavior, yet as soon as the unknowing defendant approaches them, the defendant is arrested and charged with a computer crime and/or a sex crime. One possible defense to sex crime allegations may be entrapment.
In Michigan, entrapment occurs when police conduct induces a law-abiding citizen to commit a crime. To prove entrapment, defense attorneys examine whether the police conduct enticed the defendant to commit the crime. In the context of an internet chat room sex crime allegation, a successful entrapment defense could be that the law enforcement officer posing as a minor started the conversation and then went above and beyond to get the defendant to meet for sex. In the context of solicitation, a successful entrapment defense could be that the law enforcement officer posing as a prostitute or panderer approached the defendant and went above and beyond to get the defendant to pay for sex. The key is to find whether the officer’s actions induced the defendant to engage in the criminal behavior, or whether the defendant was otherwise predisposed to committing the crime. Entrapment can also be established when the police engage in conduct that is so reprehensible that it cannot be tolerated by the courts. If the police acted that wrongfully, the defendant does not need to show that the police conduct induced his or her commission of the offense.
Entrapment can be difficult to prove, which is why you should immediately consult with a skilled and experienced sex crime defense lawyer. Your attorney will investigate your case and the evidence against you and determine if an entrapment defense is feasible in your case. When charged with crimes like Criminal Sexual Conduct, accosting a minor, child pornography, or using a computer to commit a sex crime, contact our Michigan criminal defense team today at 1 866-766-5245.