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August 2017
Tim Bilecki

E-3 Falls Prey to OSI’s Catch a Predator Sting, Bilecki Secures Acquittal

Attempted Sexual Assault of a Minor (Sting Operation case)
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Army Private First Class – E-3
Full Acquittal – Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications.

Charges were preferred against an Army Soldier when he unwittingly replied to an online ad placed by the OSI in Hawaii. In a sting operation similar to the one used on the television show “To Catch a Predator,” OSI’s ads on Craigslist 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.

After being retained to defend the Soldier, a court martial lawyer in Hawaii, 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 was 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 the 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.

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