NOT GUILTY, FULL ACQUITTAL
Charges: Attempted Sexual Assault of a Minor (Sting Operation case)
Charges were perferred against our client when he unwittingly replied to an online ad placed by OSI in Hawaii. The sting operation, which is similar to the one used on the television show “To Catch a Predator,” uses placed ads on Craigslist to entice service members into clicking and replying to allegedly underage girls.
Once the service member answers the ad, an OSI Special Agent engages the target and gives him a fabricated age (usually very young, 14 or 15). The chats continue until the service member agrees to meet the person at a pre-determined meeting point – typically a house on JBPHH. When the service member arrives at the house, he is arrested, taken into custody, interrogated and later charged with attempted sexual assault on a minor.
Court martial lawyer Timothy Bilecki used an entrapment defense to bring the case to a fully contested jury trial. During cross-examination, Mr. Bilecki exposed several fundamental flaws in the OSI sting operation. Namely, that OSI was not following their ICAC and entrapment training and engaging in unlawful inducements – including sending several pictures of an adult even though the persona was supposed to be of a minor.
At the end of trial, it was clear that our client was in no way seeking out a minor to have sex with. The jury found him NOT GUILTY based on our entrapment defense after only one hour and fifteen minutes of deliberations. In a hearing prior to trial, our client pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of use of marijuana under Article 112a of the UCMJ and received a punitive discharge and no confinement for the drug use.
Results: NOT GUILTY, FULL ACQUITTAL.
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