Monday, November 19, 2018

Chris Hansen has resumed his "predator" sting series on YouTube and it is difficult to watch

Chris Hansen has resumed his earlier series for NBC (“To Catch a Predator”) as an independent series now online, “Hansen v. Predator”.  It is related to his “Crime Watch Daily
These videos are so disturbing that I placed this example on the “threats to freedom” blog (normally for disasters) than on the TV blog. (See also the Book Reviews blog, March 17, 2007 for Hansen’s book.)

Men enter chat rooms and talk to decoys online and drive to the sting house in Fairfield CT.

In many episodes Hansen suddenly appears after the decoy actor or actress leaves the room, and Hansen will sometimes say “Have a seat”.

Hansen has aged and developed a bit of a gut.  He behaves in an authoritarian manner and interrogates the perp on his motives.

Hansen says there has never been a female subject show up to a sting.  He also has produced arguments that this is not legal entrapment.

As the perpetrator leaves, he gets arrested in the garage. The video then will show questioning with Fairfield CT police, who confront the perp with the chat log.  Typically the perp pleads guilty, gets some jail time and must register as a sex offender for ten years.

Internet users, whatever their grasp of the (im)morality of this, should realize that it is very dangerous to arrange meetings with others who claim to be under age of consent in a particular state, from chat rooms.  Police stings are common in every state and in Washington DC.  Public knowledge of the stings should provide deterrence.  (In some states, especially California, age of consent is still 18.) 
The overwhelming majority of situations are heterosexual.  Some men may have grown up in cultures where they are used to the idea of women marrying much younger and having children earlier than the age of consent in many states. 

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