There have been two recent stings focusing on criminal sex acts or attempted criminal sex acts in Gainesville and Ocala. The Marion County investigators were seeking to combat solicitation of prostitution. The Alachua County investigation targeted those soliciting a parent, legal guardian or custodian of a child to commit an illegal sex act with a child or traveling to meet a child. Both law enforcement operations were conducted in August 2015.
In Ocala, a multi-agency task force conducted what is known as a reverse John operation, where several people were arrested after responding to a back page ad. Then in Gainesville, police targeted the use of the computer or internet to solicit children or minors for sex. In Ocala, police posed as prostitutes. In Gainesville, law enforcement posed as those willing to offer their children for the sexual gratification of another and also posed as children. Both jurisdictions sought to lure people out of their homes to travel to meet either a prostitute or child for sexual activity. In both investigations, there was an ad placed and the people arrested traveled to law enforcement hoping to meet someone else.
Each solicitiation or traveling case will depend heavily on the ads placed, the recordings made and the transcripts of what exactly was said or typed. Criminal solicitation cases, whether they be solicitation of prostitution, solicitation of a minor, or solicitation of a parent or guardian for sexual activity or performance with a minor are very fact specific.
Any sex offense is a serious offense with steep penalties that can include jail or prison time. Anyone accused can call, click or fill out the form to the right to have a consultation in their solicitation or sex case.