Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day is here. If you are one of the many people looking for a little TLC this year, be careful where you are trying to find it. If you are a Castillo Law blog follower, you know that we have many blogs warning people who use Backpage, Tagged, Craigslist, and similar sites that law enforcement officers pose as decoys to catch potential offenders. Notwithstanding these warnings, some of our clients have stepped into John Doe Law Enforcement traps, becoming a statistic of the sex sting operations aimed at finding child predators.
While these websites may offer legitimate services in the “Adults Only Classified” sections, it should be known that if you are only looking for an escort, escorts are required to have a valid license through the State of Arizona for the city in which they are working. If you still choose to venture on these sites, be aware that undercover officers pose as adults at first and then after communicating with you for a little bit, they will disclose that they are actually under the age of 18. If you continue to chat with them, negotiate acts/ prices, and plan a time and place to meet, you will be met by law enforcement at the destination and you could face criminal charges.
Another common scenario is that young teenage females who are minors may pose as 18 years old or older and then later reveal their true age. This is notice to cease all further communications with the individuals. Failure to do so may lead to criminal charges
Criminal charges aren’t the only thing to be cautious about when using dating sites. If you find yourself on a dating site and the person you are chatting with discloses to you that he/ she is a minor, you could find yourself in the middle of a scam. A scammer might message you claiming that the scammer is the parent of the underage individual you were just chatting with and attempt to extort money out of you. Scammers often tell you that if you refuse to pay, they will go to the police.
Massage parlors have also become traps where law enforcement agencies have set up shop. In December of 2017, Phoenix Police Department arrested 86 men who solicited women in a Massage Parlor Operation. Rather than testing your luck at love with these websites, there are events throughout the valley geared towards the single population, where you can verify the person’s age with whom you are speaking.
- Be My Valentine Bash (speed dating) at Blue Martini Lounge
- Valentine’s Day: Unlock your Heart at Casa Amigos
- Throw a Single’s Party at your House
- Celebrate Arizona’s 106th Birthday and visit a museum
Sex crimes are very serious and are sentenced harshly in the State of Arizona. If you are facing charges due to a sex sting operation or any other offense, Castillo Law is here to help 24/7 at 480-206-5204.