Maui Democrat says online sting creat...

Maui Democrat says online sting creates sex crime - News

There are 134 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Apr 3, 2009, titled Maui Democrat says online sting creates sex crime - News. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

WAILUKU>> State Rep. Joe Bertram has argued a friend caught in an Internet predator sting should not be sent to prison for an "imaginary crime." Bertram spoke yesterday in support of Mark Marcantonio, 52, of Maui, who had pleaded no contest to second-degree electronic enticement of a child.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Moke Apana

Mililani, HI

#50 Apr 3, 2009
[QUOTE/] I feel sorry for the local Mauians. It must be hell living amongst the washed up seventies' rock stars and decaying hippies--Bertram's constituency, apparently.
[/QUOTE]
Unless you live on Maui you have no idea how weird it can be! Bra, these malihini kupuna still take drugs, and use words like "cool" and "far out", and worst of all, they are running the island!
verochan

Honolulu, HI

#51 Apr 3, 2009
People that tend to defend the actions of molesters and pedophiles are usually ones themselves. For Bertram to say that these are "imaginary crimes", he is an idiot for not realizing the data about how many children are exploited and sexually abused in their lifetime. And this is just reported data. People that don't want laws punishing offenders are predators themselves!!!
The Truth

Honolulu, HI

#52 Apr 3, 2009
Actually, there was no child at all. The guy was the one that was enticed. The police are trained to coerce the guy into meeting with them. It's the only way Maui can justify the federal dollars in funding they received to establish the program. When will you people realize that these online enticement cases are nothing more than cops looking for victims?

Of the 40+ cases of enticement since the law was created in 2002 there has only been ONE actual case of real enticement. Only one.

The whole "catch a predator" phenomenon is what's being sensationalized here. Police looking to make headlines by putting people away and "save the kids" (yet they have only managed to catch one ACTUAL criminal) does not excuse the behavior of enticing MEN into committing a crime.

I'm sorry but if you actually watch (or look forward to) episodes of catch a predator.. you are way sicker than you realize.
The Truth

Honolulu, HI

#53 Apr 3, 2009
verochan wrote:
People that tend to defend the actions of molesters and pedophiles are usually ones themselves. For Bertram to say that these are "imaginary crimes", he is an idiot for not realizing the data about how many children are exploited and sexually abused in their lifetime. And this is just reported data. People that don't want laws punishing offenders are predators themselves!!!
Wait a second I have to call BS on this. You can't honestly be in favor of giving police departments ultimate authority to go to ANY length to stop a crime. Where would it end?

These are THOUGHT CRIMES.

A wise man once said, if you have not actually contemplated murder--you have never truly been married.

Merely thinking about something does not translate into doing it. Even showing up to meet a so-called "child" does not automatically mean rape. No more than "showing up" to your date's house means you are going to rape them.

Get a grip woman, no one is underestimating the level of abuse that exists with kids. We're talking about the abuse of power of a government agent to "manufacture" a crime! It is IMPOSSIBLE to predict what is going to happen.

I would MUCH rather see police actually nabbing people from going to meet kids instead of PRETENDING TO BE KIDS. You can't tell me in this age of technology police can't use millions of dollars in federal funds to actually nab crime that is OCCURRING.

Since: Feb 08

Kaneohe, Hawaii

#54 Apr 3, 2009
The Truth wrote:
Actually, there was no child at all. The guy was the one that was enticed. The police are trained to coerce the guy into meeting with them. It's the only way Maui can justify the federal dollars in funding they received to establish the program. When will you people realize that these online enticement cases are nothing more than cops looking for victims?
Of the 40+ cases of enticement since the law was created in 2002 there has only been ONE actual case of real enticement. Only one.
The whole "catch a predator" phenomenon is what's being sensationalized here. Police looking to make headlines by putting people away and "save the kids" (yet they have only managed to catch one ACTUAL criminal) does not excuse the behavior of enticing MEN into committing a crime.
I'm sorry but if you actually watch (or look forward to) episodes of catch a predator.. you are way sicker than you realize.
Did this come off of the NAMBLA website or something? Sounds so apologetic to be fishy.
WTF

Honolulu, HI

#55 Apr 3, 2009
disagree wrote:
<quoted text>
YES- Imaginary-although repulsive there was no real crime commited. The "thought" police are the most dangereous!!!
How many times have you daydreamed of cheating on your partner or just wanting to punch out the idiot you work with. Ogling a girl or staring down a co-worker is not illegal. Up to that point it's only a thought, a fantasy unless you go through with it.
Just like these people who chat with others. There is no crime until something is commited. Just showing up is not a crime-yet. Up to that point it's still just a fantasy, dream or hope.
Careful how you respond to me or the "thought" police could be waiting for you too.
Excuse me...but this is not an imaginary crime...its on the books so its a REAL crime. Read the law...Hawaii Revised Statutes 707-756. It's not imaginary...U are probably a perv too.
The Truth

Honolulu, HI

#56 Apr 3, 2009
You know the statute chapter and verse, and I'm a perv?

Wow the logic you people pull from your asses.

So let me get this straight anyone who disagrees with you is a pervert and a pedophile. Gotcha, check.

Take meds much?
WTF

Honolulu, HI

#57 Apr 3, 2009
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
Wait a second I have to call BS on this. You can't honestly be in favor of giving police departments ultimate authority to go to ANY length to stop a crime. Where would it end?
These are THOUGHT CRIMES.
A wise man once said, if you have not actually contemplated murder--you have never truly been married.
Merely thinking about something does not translate into doing it. Even showing up to meet a so-called "child" does not automatically mean rape. No more than "showing up" to your date's house means you are going to rape them.
Get a grip woman, no one is underestimating the level of abuse that exists with kids. We're talking about the abuse of power of a government agent to "manufacture" a crime! It is IMPOSSIBLE to predict what is going to happen.
I would MUCH rather see police actually nabbing people from going to meet kids instead of PRETENDING TO BE KIDS. You can't tell me in this age of technology police can't use millions of dollars in federal funds to actually nab crime that is OCCURRING.
Wow..that's a lot of kaka coming out of this post. Probably the next "victim" of the police.
The Truth

Honolulu, HI

#58 Apr 3, 2009
If you must know I'm a legal researcher and see a distinct "bright line" between the freedom of mankind and the tyranny of government. You know, that thing called the Constitution that guards its people from the tyranny of government agents?

These kinds of charges that stem from "sting" operations have never impressed me as being all that effective. So in this case, you've nabbed a guy who went to work every day, took care of his family, paid his taxes, and suddenly he's the new face of a pedophile?

I just don't buy it. I don't believe any officer of the law can sit at a computer for hours and days at a time and pretend to be a 13 or 14 year old girl (or boy) with the sole intent to capture and solicit men (or provide the opportunity to engage in sex). No I'm sorry that doesn't sit well with me, and it should not with you either.

Now again, put that same officer in the capacity to actually intercept and prevent actual involvement with kids and you've accomplished something.

Nevermind logic though, you just love to see those headlines, don't you?
kalihihaole

Honolulu, HI

#61 Apr 3, 2009
The problem with this kind of operation is the person is only guilty of a THOUGHT CRIME. THOUGHT CRIME is not a crime in the United States. It would be interesting to see just how a cop presents himself to these guys to get them to bite. Probably counting on the guys they catch wanting to avoid publicity as much as possible so the general public doesn't find out just what the cops do to try and entice some guy into this.
Robin Hood

Honolulu, HI

#62 Apr 3, 2009
The Truth wrote:
Actually, there was no child at all. The guy was the one that was enticed. The police are trained to coerce the guy into meeting with them. It's the only way Maui can justify the federal dollars in funding they received to establish the program. When will you people realize that these online enticement cases are nothing more than cops looking for victims?
Of the 40+ cases of enticement since the law was created in 2002 there has only been ONE actual case of real enticement. Only one.
The whole "catch a predator" phenomenon is what's being sensationalized here. Police looking to make headlines by putting people away and "save the kids" (yet they have only managed to catch one ACTUAL criminal) does not excuse the behavior of enticing MEN into committing a crime.
I'm sorry but if you actually watch (or look forward to) episodes of catch a predator.. you are way sicker than you realize.
Guess I'm in the minority, but I agree with this post and the Maui rep. There is no victim here. It is an imaginary crime. We could have a cop on every street corner selling every drug known to mankind, then turn around and arrest whoever buys the drug.
If you catch a pedophile with a child, hey, I'm all for killing the guy. I'll do it myself. But this is the essence of entrapment. If you have a right to defend yourself against your accuser, and your accuser does not exist, is this really a crime?
kalihihaole

Honolulu, HI

#63 Apr 3, 2009
Westsideray wrote:
Don't tell me these sting operator's aren't getting their jolly's out of acting like a 14 year old girl. Should bust them both.
Actually, solicitation for sex as an underage person IS a crime, impersonating someone else IS a crime, especially when done over Federally controlled communications networks. And soliciting someone else to commit a crime IS a crime. But no prosecutor's gonna put the guy's doing this in front of a grand jury. But, if you as a private citizen go after these guys in this manner, you surely would be, and also be liable for civil damages. The constitution specifically forbids trading court testimony for government deals or favors, yet the Supreme Court refused to stop the practice or rule against prosecutors who do this daily on the weird grounds that it would "make" all prosecutors criminals. A false statement. If they've already broken existing government laws that expressly forbid the practice, they are ALREADY criminals. No better than any crackhead on the corner, and more deserving of contempt and death.
father of two

Honolulu, HI

#64 Apr 3, 2009
Robin Hood wrote:
<quoted text>
Guess I'm in the minority, but I agree with this post and the Maui rep. There is no victim here. It is an imaginary crime. We could have a cop on every street corner selling every drug known to mankind, then turn around and arrest whoever buys the drug.
If you catch a pedophile with a child, hey, I'm all for killing the guy. I'll do it myself. But this is the essence of entrapment. If you have a right to defend yourself against your accuser, and your accuser does not exist, is this really a crime?
Yo, Perry Mason, the law states that any person who intentionally or knowingly communicates with a minor with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony and intentionally or knowingly travels to the agreed upon meeting place at the agreed upon meeting time, is guilty of electronic enticement of a child in the first degree. Read the words. It's pretty clear. If your heart is filled with bad intentions, you'll get the book thrown at you.
daniwitz13

Kaneohe, HI

#65 Apr 3, 2009
Two of you may be the minority but count me in too. I've got to give credit to bertram for saying what he did. I've been saying this same thing for a couple of years and no one backs me up. If he was the only one that voted against the bill that became law, I say he is the only one with common sense. We need people like him that are not blinded by "for the safety of the children" spiel. This law is pure entrapment, and should be illegal. There was no real crime committed, no real victim, only in the minds of the police and the majority of you posters. This law violates freedom of speech, assembly and travel. If you agree with the police, you agree to give-up your freedom like sheep and lemmings.
The Truth

Honolulu, HI

#66 Apr 3, 2009
Yo father of two... not every law put on the books passes the common sense test. Maybe you know that, maybe you don't. I'm sure you're guarding the interests of your family and you should.

These kinds of cases are in a totally separate category of their own. Entrapped, coerced, and victimless these charges are NOT the same as someone who actually went out and did something to harm a kid. Seems to me those criminals are the ones who get the leniency and the law looks the other way.

According to the 2007 Hawaii Paroling Authority, the average sentence handed down for Electronic Enticement was 9.5 years (out of a maximum of 10).

Could it be that there is just a social fascination with these charges? I'll take it a step further and add that the catch a predator show did far more harm than good, and only seeded society to enjoy the destruction of other people's lives.

We're a long way from being civilized in America. These kinds of laws are the ones that are blindly passed, with no opposition whatsoever, that do the most damage to individual liberty.

Think about that the next time your kid is brought up on child porn charges (federal prison, lifetime sex offender) for sending a picture of themselves to their boyfriend/girlfriend.
Mokimanu

Pearl City, HI

#67 Apr 3, 2009
Birds of a feather flock together.. You catch my drift Joe?? what nerve to make a statement such as yours.
daniwitz13

Kaneohe, HI

#68 Apr 3, 2009
We know about the law of Electronic Enticement. The problem is that this law is THE most egregious one of many. This law as written is a miscarriage of justice and should not win in court, but it has. I hope in my lifetime that this law will be ruled unconstitutional. Our Attorney General is the one that should resign from his post. I would even say that Bertram should take his place for his understanding of rights. Every phase of this law has a problem, top to bottom. Based on most of the posts, I can see why it is still on the books doing harm.
daniwitz13

Kaneohe, HI

#70 Apr 3, 2009
I am so grateful for this story to come out, and that there are the minority people like Robin Hood and The Truth that realizes the injustice of this law and the scorn heaped on Mr. Bertram by good people with good intentions, but do not care if this law is a very bad law. The end justifies the means. If you were to read the many crimes that offenders that actually do a real rape or molestation, get sometimes less than a year or a year and few months. The ones that they "catch"
on their sting, did not talk to a real girl, did not see a real girl, and did not touch a real girl, but arrest him for his intentions only. Yet he will get 10 years mandatory and register for life, and he did no crime. If you think being in prison for a crime you didn't commit is bad, Try serve 10 years and register for life when no crime was committed. Only a crime of words written by someone with no conception of justice.
Stumpy

Kaneohe, HI

#71 Apr 3, 2009
He's afraid someone is going to rat him out.
JJardine

Honolulu, HI

#73 Apr 3, 2009
It is highly unlikely that any level of "entrapment" occurred in this case. Entrapment means that the law enforcement officer got an individual to engage in criminal behavior that he was not already predisposed to do. These investigations start with an undercover investigator establishing a web identity of a little "kid" (male or female). The investigator then places this identity on websites/chatrooms frequented by kids of that age. The primary rule is that the investigator not make first contact. The investigator waits to be approached by the predator. The fact that the predator was cruising in those waters, the fact that he makes the first move, together with all of the subsequent
"grooming" behavior confirm that he was a shark.

The grooming activity starts with innocent questions, making friends, and creating trust. The predator then escalates his activity to making suggestive comments, sending inappropriate pictures of himself, and much much worse. Rest assured, by the time a "date" is made, the predator has hung himself several times over. The investigators don't need to entrap because these guys can't control their urges. The fact that he shows up seals the deal legally.

There is no other way to do this and it really has to be done. Also, if he told the undercover that he has done it once before, you can bet he's done it more than once. The problem with the guys that really get a real kid is that when they freak out and realize what they did, the kid dies. These guys cannot leave witnesses. Worse are the ones with the dungeons set up. Then the kid doesn't die for a long time.

These guys need to be caught and this is the best way to do it. Also, even though I don't know anything about this specific case, if I had to guess why Marcantonio pled guilty, I'd say the evidence that the government had was so nasty that pleading out was preferable than having a judge or jury see it.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Kihei Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Pukalani Music Selection (Sep '12) Jul 19 Musikologist 11
News Hawaii Gov. Ige will let bill extending Oahu's ... Jul 1 Bozobama 5
News Maui Residents Brace For Tsunami (Feb '10) Jun '15 u never know where 3
News Maui Superferry Ruling a Blow to Company, a Vic... (Oct '07) Jun '15 Treetop rider 3
News Hawaiian Islands Weather details & Aloha Paragr... Jun '15 Treetop rider 2
Rudeness (Mar '14) Jan '15 SoontoRetire 3
News Hawaii homes not among top 10 (Sep '09) Dec '14 Bmused Artwork 4
More from around the web

Personal Finance

Kihei Mortgages