Judge questions methods of internet p...

Judge questions methods of internet predator stings

There are 26 comments on the WIS-TV Columbia story from Aug 7, 2007, titled Judge questions methods of internet predator stings. In it, WIS-TV Columbia reports that:

They are accused of preying on children, and some have even pleaded guilty to these crimes.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WIS-TV Columbia.

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Aiken County News Flash

Evans, GA

#1 Aug 8, 2007
SC - Aiken County News
It has been disclosed that the 13 year old alleged victim who accused Ex-Councilman Russ Ferrara of inappropriate touching was undergoing sexual abuse counseling at the time of the alleged incident and had previously accused at least two other men of sexual abuse: one being her father. Earlier the alleged victim claimed that her father would enter her bedroom each morning at dawn and sexually assault her. Authorities were aware of these allegations which were much more severe than the allegation lodged against the Ex-Councilman, but elected not to arrest the alleged victim's father. Authorities were also aware of the family's attempt to obtain money from the Ex-Councilman to assist in release of the alleged victim's sister from the Aiken County Detention Center.
The judge who placed the Ex-Councilman on house arrest was arrested for sexual misconduct and has recently resigned from office. Judge Jack Early ordered the councilman be taken off house arrest.
Tommy P

Evans, GA

#2 Aug 8, 2007
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS)- They are accused of preying on children, and some have even pleaded guilty to these crimes. Dozens of internet sex predator convictions could now be overturned.

Since 2004 there have been 84 arrests, all men who thought they were talking to 13 or 14-year-old boys and girls online. Twenty-four have already pleaded guilty.

"They're guilty. We know they're guilty. You ought to read this stuff. It will make you sick," says Attorney General Henry McMaster.

But some of them may soon receive a get out of jail free card. A ruling by Spartanburg Circuit Judge Mark Hayes has put the state's internet predator program in jeopardy.

McMaster says, "We think this order by the judge is wrong and will be reversed on appeal."

It stems from the case of Anthony Odom, 33, an attorney and former assistant solicitor in Aiken.

Odom was arrested for having sexual chats with an officer posing as a 13-year-old girl. But before Odom went to trial, Judge Hayes called into question the procedure authorities used to track down Odom and other internet predator suspects, because an internet screen name could belong to anyone around the world.

South Carolina law enforcement goes to internet service providers - like Yahoo, Road Runner and AOL - to get a suspect's personal information. McMaster says, "The federal and state law allows it. There's no prohibition to doing this. We are following the federal statute."

Judge Hayes doesn't agree. While he's gone on record saying he can't comment on the case, Hayes noted state law requires a higher standard than the federal law regarding how authorities obtain personal information from internet companies. It's an argument that was used in another case back in May of 2006, but was thrown out.

"The law is good. The procedures are good. It's working well," says the attorney general.

Before the state's Internet Predator program passed in 2004, the procedures on how they get personal information were signed off on by the state supreme court.

So what's next? The state's internet predator program is moving forward, but the attorney general's office has turned its cases over to the feds while the appeals process continues. It's a process that could take up to a year, officials say.
Aiken County News

Evans, GA

#4 Aug 8, 2007
Prior to making these false allegations of inappropriate touching the girls family had a history of fraud, alchol abuse, illegal drugs, and sexual abuse (incest). In this case we heard her family was using her as bait in a failed attempt to extort money from Ex-Councilman Russ Ferrara. The family sexual abuse of this girl was so severe that SC Department of Social Services snatched her out of the home, put her in temporay foster care and ultimately awarded custody to her grandparents.
Justice for Pdom

Evans, GA

#5 Aug 9, 2007
If Anthony Odom was communicating with the undercover cop who was lying about his age for four months, it seems like he would have been able to talk him into meeting him somewhere. One can only conclude that Anthony Odom was playing him also and never had any intention of meeting nor sexually abusing a minor. You really can't believe everything you read on the Internet.
DSS Negligence

Greenville, SC

#6 Aug 12, 2007
We are disappointed that DSS wasn't responsible enough to take this little girl out of this abusive environment. Sometimes just turning custody over to the grandparents is just a front and the child remains in the same threatening environment.
DSS Negligence

Greenville, SC

#7 Aug 12, 2007
We are disappointed that DSS wasn't responsible enough to take this little girl out of this abusive environment. Sometimes just turning custody over to the grandparents is just a front and the child remains in the same threatening environment.
DSS Case Study

United States

#8 Aug 15, 2007
This family has a history of child abuse, fraud, drug and alcohol abuse and stealing. At the time of this alleged incident with the Ex-Councilman both of her brothers and sister were in jail. Also, since the summer of 2005 her sister has been arrested multiple times for using crack cocaine while pregnant, auto theft, and credit card fraud. Her brother was arrested for having a concealed weapon in the SCDMV office. Yet this minor continues to stay in this home environment.

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#10 Aug 15, 2007
Don't get me wrong child molesters should be hung.It just the child welfare system has become a tool of teenagers to make the parents allow the kids to break more laws.When the parent gets in trouble for backhand a teen that is cursing you and spiting at you for not letting them go out and screw older boys and the parents had already beg the police to help,SS,REHAB,CHURCH.Then the hell with you.So what you going to do blame the parent some more!
Children

United States

#11 Aug 15, 2007
we would like to believe our children in situations like this, but they will lie for so many reasons: to get out of trouble, to get something they want or just to get attention.
Gryphon

Evans, GA

#12 Aug 18, 2007
this reminds me of the time we labeled everyone with an opinion other than our own as a communist. I guess Judge Mark Hayes who determined that Anthony Odom's privacy rights were violated is a predator. Also, Jack Swerling, the attorney who's defending Anthony Odom is a predator too. However, the lying dog cop who posed as a 13 year old teenager on the Internet and who probably enjoyed sharing his/her childhood sexual fantasys during 4 months of chatting, is a Christian saint who should be given the medal of honor.
Common Sense

West Columbia, SC

#15 Nov 1, 2007
What is the latest on the Odom appeal? There has been no news from McMaster about what has transpired.
Unlawful Conduct

Augusta, GA

#16 Nov 2, 2007
If this task force continues to break south carolina state law then SLED should charge them with misconduct in office. One of the 46 circuit court judges has already told them their actions are a violation of a citizen's right to privacy as protected in our state's constitution. This is no different from a trooper stoping someone and without probable cause demanding to search the trunk of their car. Unlawful! Unlawful!! Unlawful!!!
Take A Look

Savannah, GA

#17 Nov 13, 2007
Appeal

Savannah, GA

#18 Nov 13, 2007
Common Sense wrote:
What is the latest on the Odom appeal? There has been no news from McMaster about what has transpired.
Where is the order and why has it not been printed, someone should call the Spartanburg Clerk and get a copy. It must be really bad for the State
Concerned Mom

Pacifica, CA

#19 Jan 3, 2008
I think that these stings are a TOTAL VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION!!!!
Concerned Mom

Pacifica, CA

#20 Jan 3, 2008
LETS CREATE A PETTION TO STOP THIS ENTRAPMENT!! THIS IS AMERICA AND WE ARE FREE! PEOPLE ARE DYING FOR OUR FREEDOM THIS MINUTE, AND CONGRESS IS TAKING OUR RIGHTS AWAY MIN BY MIN!!! YES STOP THE REAL PEDOS BUT DONT ENTRAP PEOPLE WHO EXPRESS THOUGHT, THEN WE ALL WOULD BE IN JAIL AND REGISTERD!!! THIS IS AS SICK COUNTRY WHEN WE DO HAVE TO ENTRAP OUR OWN U.S. CITIZENS!! WAKE UP AMERICA AND WATCH YOUR OWNS KIDS, AND STOP LURING DECNT PEOPLE INTO A TRAP!!!
Concerned Mom

Pacifica, CA

#21 Jan 3, 2008
THANK YOU JUDGE HAYES IN THE ODOM CASE FOR STANDING UP FOR OUR CONSTITUTION!!!!
Concerned Mom

Pacifica, CA

#22 Jan 3, 2008
www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp...

Falsely accussed .com

http://www.falsely-accused.net/internet-sex-s...

Cyber Sex is a Masquerade Ball--And the Police Just Don't Get It!
Politics

Augusta, GA

#23 Jan 4, 2008
In South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster is just using this as a forum to establish his record. Actually, he's not really catching criminals, but rather entraping productive law abiding citizens like Anthony Odom and unjustly ruining their personsal and professional lives. If he were arresting real molesters who were running around the schools, daycares, churches, etc. that would clearly be justified, but this cyber minor business is nothing more than entrapment and an abuse of process/authority. Henry is just getting carried away when he should be looking closely at our system of justice and making systemic improvements/changes (law enforcement, solicitor performance, etc.).
Martin

Augusta, GA

#26 Jan 5, 2008
Recommend that you contact your state senators directly to ensure that we are indeed focusing on actual criminals rather than just misdirecting law enforcement resources.

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