In case you have not heard, Bilecki Law Group won the first NCIS Sting Operation case in Okinawa defending an accused Chief Warrant Officer.
Last week, a Marine Corps jury found a Warrant Officer Not Guilty of attempted sexual assault on a child, attempted sexual contact of a child, attempted lewd act on a child and attempted adultery. He was found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer. He was sentenced to 145 days confinement (101 days pre-trial confinement credit) but no punitive discharge.
Timothy Bilecki, managing partner at Bilecki Law Group explains how the current NCIS “To Catch a Predator” sting operation in Japan can lead to entrapment.
Convicting an officer for sexual offenses could have led to severe punishment, prison time and mandatory sexual offender registration. But is that justice if he didn’t do anything lawfully wrong? There is certainly a murky area between criminal action and government entrapment.
Here’s the reality: some men truly are sexual predators and should be held accountable for their actions. However, the ongoing sting operation in Okinawa casts too wide a net and by posting ads in an 18+ forum and holding themselves out to be adults, they attract service members looking to meet adults—not children. Simply throwing in somewhere in the conversation that they are “young” that their “mom isn’t home” that they are “homeschooled” or even stating that they are 15 but at the same time sending photographs of a 25 year old woman does not mean that the military service member on the other end of the chat actually believes they are under age.
People “catfish” online each and every day, people use personas online each and every day and let’s face it, most people online are not really honest with who they are. When NCIS leads a service member to believe they are chatting with someone who is of-age and baits them to come to the house to meet them – only to arrest them when they arrive – that is entrapment. It’s not taking child sex predators off the street, it is causing otherwise innocent service members to be arrested.
Watch the video of the proceeding and please share your opinion:
“Over twenty-eight have been arrested and convicted, our case is the only one that’s won!” ~ Tim Bilecki.