The cheerleading coach at a Florida high school has been charged with several counts of attempting to meet a minor for sex, sending sexually explicit material over the internet, and an aggravating charge of being in a position of authority over the student when the attempted solicitation occurred.
The cheer coach was brought down entirely by the girl who she was attempting to solicit. As soon as the cheer coach sent her a request on Instagram, which is likely against department policy and basic common sense, police took over the girl’s account and pretended to be her. It was during this chat between police officers and the cheer coach that the criminal conduct was committed.
Ideally, this is how all attempts at the sexual exploitation of minor would be handled. The student alerted authorities to a violation of school policy and authorities gave the perpetrator enough rope to hang themselves with. In this case, the suspect will have a very difficult time defending herself against the charges since the police have written communication between the two.
The woman is alleged to have broached topics such as sex and smoking and told the girl that she should sit on her lap and kiss her and that her clothes did not have to stay on.
Understanding the investigation
This is how you’d like to see all of these attempted abuse cases play out. The student alerted her parents and authorities, and authorities took over the investigation, chatted with the suspect, and got her to commit the crimes. Does this constitute entrapment? Not at all.
Entrapment as a defense to specific allegations, especially of this nature, is not a valid defense. Why not? Well, essentially, you have to prove to the court that you would not have committed the crime unless you were forced to against your will. That means that the law can prove that you have an inclination toward a specific criminal act and when prompted, you gave in. In this case, since the cheer coach reached out to the student, she was not coerced, induced, or otherwise leveraged into doing something that was against her nature. So, entrapment would not be an effective method of defeating these charges.
In truth, authorities have everything they need to put the woman away for a long time. She will likely plead guilty to the charges to avoid setting the matter in front of a jury but will be unlikely to have much leverage during negotiations. Nonetheless, a guilty plea in lieu of defending yourself saves the state money, so negotiating a lesser sentence based on an admission of guilt could avoid serious prison time. Nonetheless, there will be a protracted period of probation during which her actions are monitored by the state, and she will spend the rest of her life in a sex offender registry.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents the interests of those who have been charged with serious crimes. Call our West Palm Beach criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.