Sting Operations Are Conducted To Apprehend Potential Sex Offenders

Interviewer: Have you ever dealt with sting operations? Someone who’s been a victim too of sting operations?

Zach Peagler: They’re becoming more and more prevalent. It’s something that we deal with through participating in the associations that we’re involved in. Keeping track of the way these things are happening but, there’s more. People see it on Dateline NBC and there seems to be more of a focus by law enforcement to conduct sting operations especially with the advent of the internet.

The Police are Tracking Online Predators Looking to Have Sex with Minors

It’s getting more popular all the time with tracking online predators. People that are visiting websites or chatrooms that involve sex with minor children. The police are probing these … The police and federal authorities are probing these guys and acting as minor children to see if someone over the age of majority is attempting to elicit sexual acts from minors. That’s probably the most popular way that that crime is happening now.

False Accusations of Sexual Misconduct May Arise From the Internet

They’ll set a meeting up with the person and we’ve seen and read about cases where people have even posted ads on Craigslist explicitly seeking minor children for deviant acts. The thing that you have to be careful about is that, it is internet-based and there can be some false accusations that arise from those type of things where you’re not actually seeing the person who is doing the typing behind the keyboard.

Police Officers Conducting Sting Operations Act in a Meticulous Manner so that the Suspect Can be Apprehended and Prosecuted

That’s why the law enforcement make sure that they try to set an in-person meeting that has very explicit dates and times and locations. Then, if that person shows up at the place, and probably get a description of the person too before they have the meeting so that they can have as much proof as possible to try to prosecute those kinds because otherwise, there are a lot of ways to defend against those. Just because it’s not something that happened in person or that there can be an eyewitness to it per se.

Common Examples of Sex Crimes in the State of Alabama

Interviewer: What would you say out of all of this trend that we have discussed here, what would you say is the most common out of all the sex crimes?

Zach Peagler: Jefferson County has a lot of Community Notification Act registration problems. They have an entire task force of the sheriff’s department assigned to do registration of sex offenders and notification. In certain crimes like rape, for example, a person that’s been convicted of rape, they not only have to register with the sheriff’s department, keep them apprised of where they live and where they work, but they also are subject to notification by the sheriff’s department to their neighbors and the surrounding community that they are living in a certain area.

A Lot of Sex Offenders Do Not Comply with the Community Notification Act

They have restrictions on where they can live and they have notification requirements that their neighbors will know where they are. A lot of sex offenders for various reasons, don’t comply with this law. It’s an arduous process to keep up with, to remember to check in and notify that your employment has changed or notify the change of address especially if you’ve been … If the crime happened 20 years ago when you’re still subject to the law.

Failing to Comply with the Community Notifications Act Results in an Additional Class C Felony Charge

The Alabama Statute is set up that each time you fail to register and meet the requirements of the Act that you’re subject to another class C felony charge in itself. That is one that we deal with a good bit. Just because there’s so many sex offenders, unfortunately, and so many of them fail to comply with the law. Unfortunately, it’s a strict liability law, so you either do it or you don’t do it. There’s a little bit of argument that can be made in there, but that’s why it’s important to have an attorney in those cases to try to make the best argument possible as to why you didn’t do as the law required.

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