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4 men accused of trying to meet minors in Modesto parks

In an effort to shed light on the criminal justice system in the East Bay area, we started this blog. Its focus will be on local and national stories that relate to our criminal defense practice. Whether it's DUI, federal charges, Internet crimes, juvenile offenses or sex crimes, we hope to illustrate the importance of a legal defense when so much is at stake in a criminal case.

For example, consider the recent arrests of four men in Modesto. The men's ages range from 44 to 18, and they each were apparently tricked by undercover officers into believing the officers were minors.

Police used various online forums, including Craigslist and dating websites, to post information about fictitious children. When the men showed up at public parks in Modesto, police were waiting. According to officers, each of the four men had intentions of engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor.

The suspects were charged with trying to meet with a minor to take part in lewd and lascivious acts. A conviction on such a charge could result in a maximum four-year prison sentence. One of the arrested individuals reportedly has a 5-year-old son, so, if convicted, the man could be faced with a very negative impact on his family life.

Despite what police, prosecutors and mainstream media sources would have us believe, sex crime allegations are not always simple. Overcharging does occur, and evidence is sometimes gathered inappropriately. To protect their reputations and their future, California residents accused of a sex crime need to be aware of their legal options.

Source: The Modesto Bee, "Setting the Trap: Men responding to 'child' profiles find police waiting," Erin Tracy, May 4, 2013

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