Oviedo, FL – A middle school teacher, a tourist visiting from Turkey, college students and a businessman from North Carolina were among 50 men arrested in a week-long undercover sex trap that ended Monday.
The sting targeted men apparently seeking sex with children.
A total of 16 law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Florida combined forces to carry out the ruse involving undercover detectives posing online as children or parents offering their kids up for sex.
The men allegedly drove to a decoy home in Oviedo, FL, just 19 miles from Orlando.
Police claim one of the men arrested was a Florida high school English teacher who showed up at the home with condoms in his pocket planning to engage in sex with he thought was a 14-year-old girl. He allegedly sent pictures of himself to an undercover officer before making the trek to the decoy house.
A middle school science teacher and an elementary school interpreter for deaf children also arrived at the Oviedo home expecting sex with 13-year-old and 14-year-old boys, according to Florida detectives.
A total of 50 men were arrested ranging in age from 19 to 60.
Child sex stings in Florida are conducted quite regularly. The scenario above is one of many used by undercover detectives to catch suspected child predators believed to be scouring the Internet looking for sex with children. Florida authorities will usually prompt the undercover operation by posting ads offering sex with minors from parents of children. Once detectives get a response to these ads, e-mails are exchanged and a meeting location is determined. Detectives will be waiting at the designated meeting spot, and will arrest suspects before any activity has occurred.
Internet solicitation charges can result in life-changing criminal penalties that often negatively impact a person’s social life and professional reputation. Even worse, anyone convicted of soliciting a child for sex will be forced to register as a sexual offender, which will restrict where they can live and work. It is extremely difficult for registered sex offenders to find suitable housing and stable employment once they have served their sentence.
While you may feel that you have no other alternative but to plead guilty, there are possible defenses to these crimes. By working with a Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible, we may be able to help you avoid these serious penalties. Even if you have not yet been charged, if you suspect that you will or are currently being investigated for an Internet sex crime, contact a Florida Internet Solicitation Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton so that your rights can be protected from the start. We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day – call us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529 or visit us online.
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