Today’s story raises the question of whether some ideas might be better left in the realm of criminal justice theory, rather than applied in actual practice.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed some of the criticisms levied against Florida prosecutors who charged a high school student with a sex crime for her same-sex relationship with a younger classmate.
Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently concluded another round in a nationwide effort against child prostitution. Begun in 2003, the coordinated effort is called Operation Cross Country. The most recent crackdown, which occurred over a 72-hour time period, resulted in at least 35 arrests in Florida alone.
If asked about the role of the Internet in modern life, Florida readers might have a variety of responses. From paying bills to shopping, emailing to video chatting with a friend or loved one across the globe, the Internet seems to have made everything more accessible. Even dating can be done online.
In recent posts, we’ve discussed whether juvenile sex offenders should be afforded adult punishments and subjected to adult criminal trials. The consequences of prosecuting a juvenile as an adult can be life-long, resulting in a criminal record, potential sex offender registration, and residency and employment obstacles.
Under Florida state law, sex offenders and sexual predators are usually required to give authorities their email addresses and screen names before using them in social network or other online sites. That information is then forwarded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which puts the identifying information on a sex offender registry website available to the public.
A man charged with three counts of soliciting a teenage boy for sex in Florida was recently sentenced to three years in prison. The man had initially pleaded not guilty to the sex crime charges after his arrest. However, as his trial date approached, the man apparently become more concerned about the possible sentence of 20 years in prison he might serve if convicted on all three felony counts. Perhaps based on those fears, the man changed his plea to no-contest. Under that plea, he agreed not to fight the charges, but also did not have to admit guilt.
Charges regarding an alleged Florida sex trafficking ring have been brought against a second Florida man in a federal criminal complaint.