Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Disturbing Judge's Ruling

The ability of law enforcement to go after child predators over the Internet may have just taken a huge hit, courtesy of a federal judge in Kansas City. Jan Helder of Mission Hills, Kansas was found guilty in federal court of trying to entice a minor for sex. He was busted in a Platte County (Missouri) Sheriff's Department sting.

But minutes after the guilty verdict was read, U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple overturned the conviction. He ruled that a conviction under federal law required actually enticing a minor - not enticing a Platte County deputy pretending to be a minor.

Apparently intent has no bearing on guilt or innocence, at least in this judge's eyes. Helder was actively trying to entice a child. Because the "child" he was chatting up was actually a cop, he's not guilty?