Covid Child Porn Sex Stings

Attorney Peter D Aiken State and Federal Child Pornography Defense Attorney 941-366-3506

June 17 2020

The Covid social distancing issues have cause a spike in child pornography cases.  These are cases the detectives can work without leaving their office.  Also, the social distancing has put many people out of work and consequently many people are sitting at home bored on their computers.  Sheriff Grady Judd just ran a Polk County child pornography sex sting and proudly announced on television the arrests of 16 men he publically called “Deviants”.  He proudly announced that all of them were charged with possession of child pornography with multiple second degree felonies and each faced life under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines.  He claimed that all of them were dangerous and likely to molest children.  He cited the “Butner Report”, a very slanted Government report that falsely claims that people who view child pornography go on to molest children.  That false statement is also sadly the view of many uneducated prosecutors.  The truth is that only about 3% are involved in contact offenses.  The other statistic that is ignored is the fact that the recidivist rate (the likelihood of committing another sex offense) is incredibly low, lower than any of the other crimes.

Addiction to child pornography is a treatable illness.  These men are not “deviants”, they are suffering from an illness.  Many were molested as a child and were victims themselves of sexual abuse at an early age.  Sadly, many in law enforcement do not understand this.

As a child pornography lawyer, I have the benefit of reading many psycho-sexual evaluations done by qualified and experienced psychologists.  The prosecutors on the other hand only hear the spin put on cases by men like Grady Judd. 

When the police run a child pornography Sting, do they post links to child pornography sites?  By law, they cannot post child porn, but they can put links to sites out there, and then, when men to the links, arrest them for receipt or transmission of kiddie porn.  In the perfect world, police are here to serve and protect.  We do not live in a perfect world.  If an agency gets Federal ICAC funding, they have to produce results.  Also, going on television and proudly proclaiming that you are keeping children safe from deviants makes good sense politically and will get you re-elected sheriff.

As a sex crime lawyer, and former prosecutor myself, I understand how misguided the current police philosophy is.  These men are sick and need help, not life in prison.  Prevention is a much better solution than prosecution.  Ninety nine percent of all child pornography could simply be blocked on the Internet, but that would not result in arrest statistics. If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of child pornography, transmission of child ponrography or are under investigation for child pornography in polk county, call an experienced child pornography defense attorney who can explain your options in your fact specific case . At Aiken and O’Halloran there is no charge for your initial consultation. Call Today at 941-366-3506.

I welcome your comments

Omegle and Child Porn Dangers

The Internet is a dangerous place. What starts off as innocent chat can lead to getting arrested for things like soliciting a minor for sex, transmission of harmful material to a minor and even sexual battery.  Many adults go on Omegle for live video random chat.  What people do not know is that you can end up chatting with a cop.  You can end up unknowingly chatting with a minor.  As a Florida sex crime lawyer, I have handled cases that started off on Omegle and ended up in the criminal courts.  I once represented a young man who thought he was video chatting with an adult only later to find out the young lady was underage.  Unfortunately, even though she sent him nude video pics and said originally she was an adult, it turned out later that she was 15.  He fell for a young girl that was out to have a sexual encounter.  In Florida, mistake of age is not a defense.  Even if a fifteen year old lies, even if she has false ID, it is not a defense because a 15 year old cannot consent to sex. 

It is even worse when the girl is seventeen.  Even if she looks 25, sometimes the man can still get arrested if he is over 24 years of age.  The Internet is Dangerous and you cannot believe anything is real or anything is the truth.  I have handled over 40 Internet sex sting cases and almost every one of them, the man was not looking for a child.  In almost every case, it was a police undercover officer, pretending to be an adult, and then later claiming to be a child.

Here are a few helpful tips.  Never chat with a minor about anything.  Nothing good comes of that.  Never, no never, send a dick pic to anyone, even an adult.  You don’t know that they are really an adult and if it turns out to be a minor you can find yourself being arrested, prosecuted, convicted, sentenced to State prison and become a registered sex offender for life.  Over and over I have represented men who absolutely had no intention of hooking up with a minor.  The undercover police chatters are “masters of seduction” when it comes to luring men into traveling to meet a minor. They will work the men with compliments, like, “you are really cute”, “guys my age are so stupid and immature”, “I am not very experienced”, “I bet you can teach me things”.

There is another great Internet danger.  Some of the Internet dating sites match up people with GPS programs.  The cops post as an adult female 19 or 20.  The dating site matches the profile with an adult guy 20 to 25.  After the random match, the undercover cops say “sorry I lied, I am really only 14” or something like “I can’t drive yet” or “I am still in school.

Common sense is that any one hearing that should walk away, but the cops are really good at luring guys in.  They will say “my mom is away for night”  or “I have the house to myself” or “my parents are away for the weekend”.

Guys….Newsflash…There are no real 14 or 15 year old girls that want to hook up with some older dudeIT IS ALWAYS A COP!.    Some people think that if you ask a person if they are a cop they have to tell you the truth.  That is a total myth and 100% untrue.  They don’t call them undercover cops for nothing.

My advice….Stay off Internet dating sites….NOTHING IS REAL….Stay off random video chat sites like Omegle.  The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.

Defending sex crime cases is tough and  public opinion is always against you.  As a sex crime lawyer,

I try to warn people about the dangers of the Internet.  It is particularly dangerous for young socially introverted young men and even more dangerous for men with a disability like autism or a learning disorder.  The police prey on weak young lonely introverted men.  The get the low hanging fruit and the weak young guys that fall for the bait and switch.  They claim they are protecting the public, but the truth is, they are the sex predators. 

Why are Child Pornography Arrests on the Rise in Florida?

Just this week, there were arrests in Polk County, Lee County and several other counties in Florida where men were charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.  These types of cases are on the rise because of new technology in the hands of law enforcement.  People continue to use peer to peer software to view kiddie porn and in doing so, unwittingly allow police to come into their computer without a search warrant.

When a child porn image is transmitted over the Internet, it is identified and reported to law enforcement by NCMEC.  All child porn video or still images have an identifiable “hash value”.  That is the same as a fingerprint.  In Sarasota County, and elsewhere, detectives are assigned to identify the location where images are sent.  They get a report from NCMEC showing the date and time of the transmission.  They then identify the IP address and proceed to get a search warrant.  It is like shooting fish in a barrel for the police.  Sarasota County leads the state in these types of cases.  In Sarasota County, the State Attorney has chosen to take an incredibly hard-line approach and in almost every instance charges 40-second degree felonies, running the guidelines to the point that most defendants face twenty years to life in prison.

In Sarasota County, most child pornography defendants face more time for looking at a video than committing a homicide.  Viewing child pornography is a treatable illness and sending someone to State prison for life is inhumane and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  In Sarasota, the prosecutors simply do not care. 

The best way to not get arrested is to not commit the crime.  If somehow, you find yourself looking at this stuff, seek professional psychotherapy as soon as possible.  Viewing pornography and particularly child pornography can be addictive.  If you look at this material, you need professional mental health treatment before it is too late and you find yourself arrested and facing life in prison.  As a sex crime lawyer, over and over I see men getting arrested for child pornography as a result of what appears to be an Internet addiction.  Yes, you can get addicted to the Internet.  Yes, you can get addicted to viewing child pornography.  Get help immediately.

Most lawyers do not charge for an initial confidential consultation.  I can give you the names of several good psychologists and doctors that specialize in treating this addiction.

It is only a matter of time until you are caught.  Deleting it from your computer does not delete the fact that as you are looking at it, the police are secretly extracting it from your computer.  As you are receiving it, the police are downloading it from your computer and getting a warrant.  They have a law enforcement version of BitTorrent and Emule that hacks your computer and downloads images whether you are sitting at your computer or not.  The simple answer is, stop looking at this stuff.  If you have a child pornography addiction, get help before it is too late.

Child Pornography….Prosecution or Persecution?


Everyone agrees that children should not be subjected to sexual abuse. It does irreparable damage to them for life. Everyone agrees that filming sexual acts with children should be punished. Almost everyone agrees that distributing kiddie porn should be punished.

How about the guy who simply out of curiosity simply views it?

Should he go to jail for 20 years for simply watching a video?

As a sex crime lawyer, I have been handling child pornography cases now for over thirty years. Every client and every situation is different. Every single case involves a man who has a different background, a different history and an underlying reason he may have viewed the prohibited material. Viewing child pornography is hard for the average citizen to understand.

Why did my husband do that?

How could my son have gone so wrong?

What is wrong with him?

I hear that all the time.

Most of the people who view child pornography in my opinion have a treatable illness. Jailing them for twenty years solves nothing. The problem is that most prosecutors and most of the public are unsympathetic.

Here in Sarasota County and in Bradenton there is a zero tolerance for child porn. There is a policy now in effect in an attempt to manipulate the sentencing guidelines and get sentences imposing prison for decades. In almost every child pornography case I have handled, the State files dozens of charges to run up the sentencing guidelines. They do this in an attempt to compel the judges to impose the sentence the prosecutor wants and to limit the discretion of the judge.

The prosecutors here in Sarasota want to control sentencing, a function normally that of the Court.

I strongly believe that each individual person should be judged and sentenced on the merits of their case, not just a blind policy of persecution. It is an election year for both the prosecutor and judges. Being tough on crime gets votes. Having a heart, having compassion and being fair is viewed by some as weakness. There is a reason people look at this stuff. It is hard to understand.  There is a misconception that people who look at pictures go on to become pedophiles. That simply is not born out by the statistics. Only a tiny fraction of child pornography offenders act out. I strongly believe that these people need counseling and help, not state prison. Destroying a life for simply looking at a video or picture makes no sense.

If you have a relative under investigation or charged with child pornography and want to talk Call 941 366 3506 for a free and confidential consultation