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  • 102 – Entrapment or Miscommunication? How a Consenting Man Found Himself in the Middle of a Sex Sting

102 – Entrapment or Miscommunication? How a Consenting Man Found Himself in the Middle of a Sex Sting

102 – Entrapment or Miscommunication? How a Consenting Man Found Himself in the Middle of a Sex Sting

Sex sting busts are often regarded as heroic acts justice, but the ethics surrounding them aren’t necessarily clear-cut.

When a police set-up resulted in the incarceration of Kathleen Hambrick’s son, she claimed fraud due to a series of misleading interactions that equated to entrapment. Four years after his arrest, the Hambricks find themselves in legal limbo, having appealed the initial conviction, only to be recharged.

Throughout their ordeal, Kathleen has come to believe these police-run stings involve a state-funded incentive which compels law enforcement to violate the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and make criminals out of law-abiding citizens to turn a profit.

Corruption within law enforcement isn’t uncommon — can we take their words at face value? Should there be alternative consequences for sex offenders who haven’t committed a physical crime against another person? How do amateur sex sting operations complicate this already convoluted dynamic?

Show Notes

[00:21] Background of Jace Hambrick’s case and his mother, Kathleen Hambrick.

[01:34] Welcome to the show, Kathleen!

[01:41] I know you’ve seen some of our previous episodes with Chris Hansen, CC Unit, and Anxiety Wars… I appreciated your email and feedback, and that’s why we’re having you on! Those who like the show and have different points of view, please contact me — I never would have gotten to meet Kathleen had she not contacted me.

[02:11] Kathleen, can you tell us about your son and how he grew up a little different from most kids in terms of social interaction and online dating?

[03:05] So at twenty years old he was living at home and had a job. Tell us what happened to him with the sex sting by undercover police.

[03:35] Kathleen’s son Jace went to an 18+ portion of Craigslist looking for a hook-up with another consenting adult, under the assumption that everyone else on there was an adult.

[04:11] Can you clarify one point? When you say Jace doesn’t pick up on red flags, what do you mean by that?

[04:45] Jace had previously been in Naval boot camp, but they wouldn’t accept him, despite his high degree of intelligence, due to his ADHD.

[05:23] Back to the Craigslist story… he thought he was meeting an adult — what happened next?

[06:00] The person Jace was interacting with said she was 13. He thought it may have been a type and she meant to type “23” instead. When he attempted to clarify, she said, “I like college guys.”

[06:25] He didn’t believe her? Or he thought he misread something and continued the conversation?

[07:06] Jace asked for a picture she was sent a picture of a 24-year-old woman, which he interprets as the truth. He believes she’s a 24-year-old pretending to cosplay as a 13-year-old. They proceed to talk explicitly and decide to meet.

[09:03] An hour-and-a-half later, where did they meet, what kind of place?

[09:45] Jace goes to the woman’s residence and she comes out and beckons him to come in. She is the same woman in the pictures she sent. He walks into the house and gets arrested.

[10:38] At the time of the arrest, the woman from the picture was 26-years-old. In the picture, she was 24.

[10:52] So the police had her online as a sting operation… they walk into this house and immediately arrest him?

[11:33] Did your son try explaining the situation to the police who arrested him?

[11:46] Did the police check his criminal history for child porn and other elicit activity?

[12:56] So what happened when he went through the legal system?

[13:25] They went to trial, reluctantly did a bench trial to avoid getting a jury involved, and he was convicted. They then appealed, stating they didn’t agree to a bench trial, and the verdict was overturned after Jace spent a year-and-a-half in prison. Since then, he’s been recharged and has to go back to trial.

[14:54] Does your lawyer know you’re publicly talking about this stuff?

[15:34] When was Jace’s trial? Can you provide a timeline of how this panned out?

[15:58] And the prosecutors are still going after him… what was his original sentence?

[16:18] He’s already served his eighteen months… so I’m confused as to why they want to retry him!

[16:37] You recently told Jace’s story on the Dr. Phil Show. I haven’t seen that episode but tell us about your experience on that show.

[19:27] Kathleen asserts that these sting operations get money from the federal government for every arrest and prosecution, regardless of whether the accusations are true.

[20:06] If the picture of had been of this police officer when she was thirteen, would you feel differently?

[21:27] There’s a huge difference between amateur sting operations doing this type of activity versus police doing it. These amateurs we’ve had on the show believe they’re doing the right things and busting potential abusers. But the difference in legality is quite drastic. Can you tell us what you think is wrong with these amateur “vigilantes?”

[26:09] I assume you’ll be going for a jury trial this time. Is there a trial date set? Have there been any plea offers to try and resolve this case?

[28:08] Have you ever seen To Catch a Predator, back in the day? What do you see wrong with those?

[29:00] I’ve seen the Chris Hansen shows and I believe, and a lot of other people believe, that these people are showing up for a sexual encounter with a minor. And they’re busted. And a lot of them admit it on the show! Do you think that’s entrapment of people who shouldn’t be caught?

[30:41] What’s your message to these amateur sting operations that blow the whistle on people they think are committing crimes?

[31:19] Do you think all sex stings by the police should be stopped?

[32:05] I appreciate you sharing your point of view! Thank you for reaching out, and best of luck to you and your son.

[32:24] There you have it! A different point of view on this issue. Let us know your perspective — which side are you on? And why? Look forward to hearing your comments. Please like and share the episode! Thanks for being here — we’ll see you next time.

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