I have been working on a new presentation that would explore one of the many ways these stings are a steel trap for our unsuspecting loved ones – namely court ordered ‘therapy’.
After my presentation last fall at the NARSOL conference, a situation arose with a co-advocates son. He, like all who take a plea or get convicted, was required to attend and participate in ‘sex offender’ therapy. The problem for those enticed and ensnared in law enforcement’s scam of proactive stings is that, as we know, nine out of ten were not actually looking for, interested in, or going to meet a child for sex. So what happens to men in therapy for a sexual offense when there was none intended?
This was the thesis of my new research. I had planned to present this research at the NARSOL conference and the CO SOMB Conference, both to be held this coming summer. NARSOL accepted my request to present, CO SOMB declined, but as fate would have it – my sons trial was moved to June (and now bumped to July). Thus I have withdrawn my request to present at NARSOL, but hope to present again next year.
The reason I applied to present for COSOMB is that I watched one of their ‘lunch and learn’ recordings dealing with ‘Denial’. Apparently in the great state of Colorado, who has done their fair share of proactive sex stings, denial of intent for a sex offense conviction is a violation. Those wishing to get, and stay, released must admit to the offense, or face an even longer stay in prison. CO does have civil commitment (indeterminate sentencing). So theoretically, someone caught in a sting who did not intend to have sex with a child could find themselves permanently imprisoned.
This is also the position my co-advocates son is now in…he refused to answer ‘yes’, as instructed, on a polygraph to the question ‘did you intend to have sex with a child’. The funny part here is if he answered ‘yes’ and the polygraph showed the lie, it would be explained as a false positive – ‘the client was nervous’. Polygraphs are used in all of these cases, including therapy, as damning evidence – even though they’ve been proven to be inaccurate and unreliable – not admissable in court.
Never, not once, have I heard of polygraph results that go against LE’s position, being used to help exonerate an individual. Yet constantly do I hear they are being used to corner and coerce a suspect into statements used as self incrimination.
In preliminary research for my presentation I was able to speak to a man out of Colorado who had been put into such a situation. The answer, as both logical and illogical as it may seem, is to find the thing you CAN admit to in the required therapy, thus avoiding the forced polygraph in the first place. That you ‘fake it till you make it’. For instance, perhaps the person drove to a location where he was TOLD there was a child. He didn’t believe it was a child, intend to meet a child, etc…but he was told that. He might also have been told they were an adult, such as being on a site that required the user to acknowledge they are of age, or being sent a picture of an actual adult woman. So this has nothing to do with belief, only the black and white facts. He was told, he showed up. Use that. It’s true after all. It’s by far not the whole story, nor does it even portay an accurate picture of what happened – but to get through….use it.
This tactic would theoretically keep someone from a polygraph, typically used for those in ‘denial’, where a pointed question would require a client to lie.
There is also the point of invoking the 5th amendment. I have been told that this has met with some success, though few know it is possible. Forcing a polygraph is forcing someone to self incriminate, literally to speak. We have freedom of speech in this country (not so evident after being convicted entirely off of fantasy words). Freedom of speech includes the right NOT TO SPEAK. Use it.
My advice to all who have to take a therapy is to find the statement you can plant in your head that will get you through what you have to do to be free. Call this just short of chewing your own arm off to get out of the trap. If forced to take a polygraph, start by invoking the 5th amendment.
Sadly, therapists themselves are causing their own patients harm by refusing to understand the reality surrounding sting victims. The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with a WA state therapist:
“I’ve evaluated men involved in sting operations. They were there for a reason, albeit many reasons. If I were to treat someone with such a history I’d precede with the same topical assignments as those who did offend.”
Just as with the registry, this one size fits all philosophy does more harm than good. The therapist himself, whose job it is to help his client, continues the trauma to the individual, making recovery even less likely.
When finally released of the therapy obligation, please do get help from the many talented, honest therapists who put your emotions, needs, feelings, and story as the focus of treatment. THEY are there to help you, and you will need their help to correct the damage the court appointed therapists and counseling – as well as your whole horrid ordeal – has caused you and your loved ones. Get help.