Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Do Sexual Predator Investigations Constitute Entrapment?

Greenwich law enforcement recently charged an individual with criminal attempt at sexual contact with a minor as well as criminal attempt at sexual assault and criminal attempt at enticing a minor by computer. Each of these offenses is a felony. 

Detectives from the police department’s Special Victims Sections were busy for several weeks in what has been referred to as an “internet undercover sexual predator investigation.” 

After the suspect set up a meeting in Greenwich with the decoy, the man was arrested without incident. The suspect brought marijuana as part of an attempt to meet the teenager and has been charged with marijuana possession-related offenses, as well. The man was held on a $750,000 bond and a court appearance was scheduled for later in October. 

Massachusetts law enforcement sometimes relies on covert means to lure unsuspecting individuals to meet-ups. Law enforcement posting as prostitutes or underage individuals willing to engage in sexual activity make arrests after the subject goes to the proposed meeting location. Convictions for associated offenses lead to imprisonment, fines, and registration as a sex offender among other penalties. 

It is common to hear people charged with offenses of this kind argue that law enforcement utilized entrapment to make the arrest. Entrapment is illegal and occurs when law enforcement coerces a law-abiding citizen to violate the law. Entrapment is viewed as illegal because the subject would not have engaged in the illegal activity if that person had not been convinced to do so by the police. 

What Constitutes Entrapment in Massachusetts?

Police in Massachusetts are considered to commit entrapment when to obtain evidence involving a crime, an officer originates the idea of a criminal offense and then induces another individual to engage in the crime when the other person is otherwise not disposed to commit the offense. To successfully raise the defense of entrapment in Massachusetts, evidence must be provided of inducement and this evidence must go past mere solicitation. 

A large number of sexual predator investigations avoid arguments about entrapment by allowing the subject to initiate criminal intent to commit the offense. As a result, when the subject engages in certain activities in the sting, the subject might meet the legal requirements for showing criminal intent. Some of the activities that the subject might engage in include approaching the subject of his or her free will, offering cash in exchange for sexual activity, or showing the undercover police that the subject has money to pay for sexual activity or sexual items in possession. 

If the subject engaged in any of the following activities, the subject will likely not be able to raise entrapment as a defense following a police bust. Law enforcement’s decision to go undercover as an underage child will not be sufficient coercion or persuasion to prompt the subject to commit a criminal offense. 

When Entrapment Can be Used as a Defense 

For entrapment to be raised as a defense, your attorney must be able to produce evidence showing that the police engaged in inappropriate activity which might include coercion or forceful coercion, the use of sexual favors or money as incentives to motivate the subject, or continuous aggressive acts to persuade the individual. Evidence of active promotion of a crime by law enforcement might also be evidence of entrapment. 

If entrapment can be utilized as a defense, your attorney might be able to either have the charges that you face greatly reduced or dropped entirely.  

Contact a Seasoned Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Even if you are capable of successfully defending against sex charges in Massachusetts, simply being charged with these offenses carries substantial social stigmas as well as other hardships. If you or your loved ones need the assistance of a compassionate sex crimes defense attorney, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.