The goal was to identify the latter, hook them, and then reel them in, turn them into “travelers.” Once a traveler took that all-important step out of fantasy and into the real world, his behavior went from the merely immoral to the overtly criminal.
When they delivered themselves for the promised rendezvous, instead of meeting a mother and her young daughters they would find a team of well-armed, cheerfully disgusted Delaware County police officers.
Such ordinances answer society’s quest for moral clarity, positing a direct parallel between right versus wrong and legal versus criminal.
Police patrolling the precincts of sin do not often find the streets empty.
One of the many false identities Deery has assumed online is something truly rare, even in this polluted pond—that of a middle-aged mother of two pre-pubescent girls who is offering them up for sex.
Baiting her hook with this forbidden fruit, she would cast the line and wait to see who bit. Men began vying for her attention the minute she logged on, night or day.
He was excited to see on-screen that this woman, calling herself heatherscutiepies, lived in his state, Pennsylvania, and was 39 years old.
He had immediately tapped her with three messages, and she had responded:—well why don’t u tell me wht ur into The sun blazed in from the window to his back porch.
Deery would begin a dialogue, dangling the illicit possibility, gauging how serious her mark was.
There were “players,” those who were just horny and despicable, and there were doers, or at least potential doers, the true bad guys.
Both the policewoman and her target give the author their versions of the truth, in a case that challenges the conventional wisdom about online sexual predators, and blurs the lines among crime, “intent,” and enticement.
Detective Michele Deery works in a cubicle in the basement of the Delaware County courthouse, in Media, Pennsylvania.
How are they to tell the difference between the casual sinner and the criminal?