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Patrick Naughton Arrested 473

Pomme de Terre! writes "Patrick Naughton - Java-genius, Starwave CTO, & Infoseek VP - has been arrested for chasing 13 year old girls *and* having kiddie porn on his computer... and is probably going to be put away for a very long time. Very sad. " See also the Yahoo story. As executive vice president of products at Infoseek, was Naughton in charge of GoGuardian?
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Patrick Naughton Arrested

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  • I've been browsing through these comments, and I'd be surprised if someone actually filters their way down to this one. Still, I think there is very important point that has to be recognized when using the "role-playing" defense of action in this case. It doesn't apply very well. Why? Child pornography is child pornography. The motive for making this law was to protect children from sexual abuse by prohibiting the sale or consumption of child pornography material. Pictures, videos, audio, printed, and yes, real-time chat. How does real-time chat really differ from any other media?

    Child pornography is child pornography. The US deemed it unlawful to partake in actions which constitute or contribute to a child pornographic environment. A chat-room (or channel) is an environment. Fantasizing and role-playing a child pornographic scene is still child pornography even if you have two 45 year old people chatting to eachother.

    That is one possible stance the prosecutor will try to take to defend the unlawful entrapment countercharges. Frankly, I think it'll be a strong argument. Not because of any virtue of it's own -- it clearly takes many liberties with the definition of the law concerning child pornography and how one defines pornographic material -- but simply because this topic involves protecting those who cannot protect themselves, the children. The prosecutor will play the sympathies of the jurors (if it ever gets to that) or to the judge. If any of these people are parents, the defendant will have a tough time of it.

    The defendant will have a tough time with this one, regardless of his guilt or innocense. The way it's been presented to me, he seems pretty guilty, but I'm not the investigator or the judge.

  • The problem here is that he had the *intent* to have sex with a minor. That's all the law requires: to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he *intended* to have sex with a person he believed to be a minor. (Did you read the article? Did you notice the fact that he received pictures of a 13 year old who he was told was the person he was talking to? Or the fact that he flew down from Seattle to have sex with this 13 year old? He wasn't caught in his office masturbating to a chat room--he had taken the extra step to actually go out and screw a 13 year old. Big difference.)

    The law requires only a demonstration of *intent* because the law recongises that having the police pimp out 13 year old minors in order to have sex with others is an unreasonable thing to do.

    Don't worry; you can continue to chat about anything you want. Just don't drive out there and have sex with a minor, okay?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People who hang out in a "FATHER&DAUGHTER" sex channel have crossed a line. It isn't possible to nail them for that mere act. It's appropriate to nail them when they show they didn't just wander in, and begin actively engaging in predatory behavior.

    You aren't gonna find many people who agree with your point of view on this one. I recommend you go out in street with a placard and face mothers and fathers who won't agree that you have the right to act on their childrens' wandering thoughts during adolescence. Hiding behind a "handle" online makes it possible to have all sorts of weasely opinions. Get out more, air out some of those ideas so their wrongness can become apparent. It's in your interest to do so.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What on earth are you talking about? Did you just pull this out of your ass? You're throwing your own opinions into what started as a purely legal explanation. You're using knee-jerk arguments, and trying to suggest that the legal matters have anything to do with the emotional ones. Fine, he's a loathsome individual, fine, pedophiles are disgusting, terrible people, but legal rights have nothing to do with how much you hate group a or group b.

    Legal rights are afforded to EVERYONE. That's how they work.
  • Except...

    Except that he *did* go out and meet his "victim." This, along with the chat room stuff, the pointers to web sites containing pictures of his genitals, and the suggestion that they were meeting to "make out", go a long way towards demonstrating his intention to have sex with a minor.

    The law is rather explicit about this: it is illegal to act with the intention of having sex with a minor. Whether he actually intended to have sex, or if he was just being a non-sexual creep is something for a jury to sort out.

    I wouldn't bet on him being found "not guilty."
  • Well, yes, entrapment and the power of the law can be scary, but let's think this through..

    He actually thought that this girl was 13, and attempted to meet her to have sex with her.

    If he had meet an actual 13yr old vulnerable to his 'charms', he would have possibly had sex with her.

    Would you rather the law reacted to this, and let this girls life (and others?) possibly be ruined before they arrested him? Or should they try to stop it before he does it? If I had talked to this agent, who pretended to be a 13 yearold, I would have had a polite online conversation, and left her alone. (I have little in common with 13 yr old girls) They would not have arrested me, or searched my computer for kiddie porn. Why couldn't he do the same? The fact that he didn't do the same means he WOULD try it with any real girls he meets online.

    If I tried to hire a hitman to kill you, wouldn't you rather that the first one I found was actually an agent undercover, instead? If so, should I be let go because he wasn't an _actual_ agent, but only a pretend one? So by your logic, the crime never happened, right?

    I believe that the lawmakers go too far, and some law enforcers go too far. But in cases involving sex with minors (my sister is 13), I say, hang 'em all.
  • Okay, sharp guy, would you rather bust a guy for crossing state lines with intent to have sex with a minor and throw his ass in jail (which is the current plan), or wait til he actually HAS had sex with a minor and charge him for that? Personally, I prefer the former, which under federal law is a crime, and he performed an act which violated it.
  • If you try to shoot someone and they happen to be wearing a bulletproof vest, you're still guilty of attempted murder, which is a crime.

    The point is that you have to have laws making it illegal to try to do something, because otherwise the only way you can possibly prosecute someone is to actually let them do harm, in this case, sexually abuse a 13 year old.

    Specifically, Mr. Naughton is charged with "Interstate travel with intenet to have sex with a minor". Big time felony. This is a 34 year old man who's life is over.
  • Apparently the FBI provoked the crime. Such practice is highly illegal, AFAIK, in my country.

    My question is: why haven't these people figured it out yet that the "13 year old kids" they talk to on IRC about sex are NOT 13 year old kids.

    If you check the statistics, I think the number of cases involving kids under driving age getting involved with older people over the net for sexual reasons or the like can be counted on one hand.

    If any of these guys even used a quick flash of common sense they'd know that the second someone starts talking to them telling them they're a little kid and such is either: a) another adult playing games, or b) a cop who's going to bust you.

    Sure the guy was dumb, but last I knew that wasn't illegal. (If I were feeling really cynical, I'd say that in fact being dumb is ENCOURAGED by the government... but I'm not feeling that cynical today)
  • Sorry... Conspiracy theorist on overdrive.

    I apologise if I was being accusatory.
  • Sure, screwing little girls is not right but he's clearly in need of some help, not death.

    While this is an unsavory act, what frightens me more is the sicko 'beauty pagents' that involve 8 year olds waving their rears in the air while sporting full adult make up (ever catch bits of documentaries on the JonBenet Ramsey fiasco? Yeah, those kind of pagents.).

    Just let kids be kids for chrissakes.
  • OTOH, the police who "set him up" should also be convicted (soliciting a felony, or some such, I forget the exact term). It's probably a lesser offense, but it still appears to be a criminal act.

    (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, nor do I wish to be.)

    The law enforcement agents' actions are not likely to be criminal, at least by US standards. In the criminal sense, solicitation implies an intent to engage in an illegal transaction: in this case, statutory rape. We can safely say that the FBI didn't actually intend to have sex with Naughton, so they can use that argument much more convincingly than Trixie from 12th and Vine streets can.

    The exception here is in the case of entrapment, where law enforcement essentially forces a "suspect" into performing an illegal action. This doesn't appear to be such a case.

  • >You would have to be a pretty disturbed 37 year old to want to fuck a 13 year old

    So what? I thought the whole idea of freedom was that you're allowed to be 'disturbed' if you want to.

    So if he thought it WAS a roleplaying game, he should go free imho.

    And even if he new it wasn't there's still the question of whether a 13-year-old can't give consent... I don't think any 13-year-old would actually go into a father&daughtersex chatroom, and certainly not stay there and chat for 4 hours... But if they did, I think it's their choice. But that's an ethical discussion, not a legal one.
  • Soooo... hanging out in '#father&daughtersex!!!!!!!' isn't an attempt to elicit some kind of sexual response from someone else in that channel?

    It's not an attempt to elicit an illegal response from someone else. People go to swap meets to buy things, but if an agent at a swap meet is approached by someone who wants to purchase illegal drugs, the person can't use the excuse that the agent was at a place where people buy things and therefore the suspect's attempt to buy illegal drugs was elicited by the agent.
  • Is consent the only issue you have against animal sex? I mean, if you trained a sheep (with food treats) that being sex0r3d was good, and it 'consented' (didn't need to be held down) would beastiality suddenly be okay?

    Well, I think "okay" in that context is a bit of a loaded word. ;-)

    In one sense it wouldn't be "okay" to me, since I simply find it disgusting/unaesthetic/repulsive. (And the same goes for some other sexual devia--um, variations.) In other words, don't bother inviting me over to join in.

    But in another sense, sure, it would "okay" with me; I don't think anyone should be legally restricted from doing it. (And the same goes for some other sexual devia-- um, variations.)

    Not sure this is very much related to pedo, though. Young people have rights, other species less so. After all, we don't literally send human kids to a slaughterhouse to be killed and consumed.

    Have a Sloppy day!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, I post this not logged in for a rather obvious reason....

    Being a girl-lover ("pedophile" is fine too, it just has such negative connotations in today's society) myself, I'm not sure what to think of this case...Patrick was probably a pretty nice guy when it comes down to it, and if he is like any of the other girl-lovers I know (there are more then you folks may think!) he probably was just trying to get his jollys of virtually through fantasy. No matter how bad that may sound, just think, we have sexual frustration just like "normal" (hey, i think I pretty damn normal) people do. However, the fact that he actually was (or did) about to travel down to California to meet this 'girl' makes the case a bit harder to call...should be interesting to watch. Keep in mind people: most girl-lovers would never hurt a girl in anyway - our first concern is with the other persons happiness, just like in any normal relationship, not with personal pleasure.

    And remember the tag line of American justice: innocent till proven guilty. Now I understand that the FBI has forgotten this motto, but he courts will hopefully remember.

    We're normal folks too....
    -The Courier (not my /. nick)

  • I'm seeing a ton of articles that are making statements with incorrect assumptions, and unfortunately on the main page all the incorrect assumptions seem to be moderated up.

    Patrick Naughton was NOT arrested for chatting with a purported 13 year old. The man arranged to meet with her and traveled from Seattle, WA to Santa Monica, CA, with the stated intent of having sex with her. He also did not appear surprised when he met up with a very young looking FBI agent posing as said 13 year old. Now I don't have any transcripts of the chat sessions, now know how convicingly 13 the agent was, nor do I know what happened at the pier where he was arrested, but in my book, this qualifies as "Interstate travel with intent to have sex with a minor" which is exactly what the man is charged with.

    Additionally, he has been charged, not convicted. If he want's to plead that it was all role-playing and that he didn't believe that she was really 13, that's fine. I doubt its true personally, but I'm not going to be on the jury.

    At any rate, before you start hollering about censorship and freedom, check your facts. If you think that "Interstate travel... etc etc etc" should not be a crime, write your congressman, or start a campaign to repeal the law here on slashdot, but in this case, the government caught a man who appeared to be trying to do something very bad.

    Not every crime is a soapbox to talk about freedom and opression. Some crimes are genuine crimes.
  • I will reserve judgement until I can better review the evidence. Just because Big Brother has accused this man, does not mean he is guilty. We should not be so quick to judge based on the actions of our government. We should be carefull not to encourage tyrany.
    If he is guilty, then may pay for his crimes, but not until he is found guilty by his peers.
  • >Oh, and convicted pedophiles deserve all that they get. I can't comment on the FBI procedures as they seem the only way to track down this kind of crime. I wouldn't like my privacy violated in this kind of way but... No. Heinous crime is heinous crime.

    This is a *very* dangerous attitude. I agree with your moral judgement about these people, but you must *never* allow the authorities to have this kind of exceptional power for any crime. That's how we got all these horrible anti-crypto bills: "terrorism is a special, horrible crime, so we need to trample rights to kill it".

    This way lies fascism. Literally.
  • I agree with most of you comment, except for the 'lock em up for good' part. Yes, sex with children to young to consent is wrong. But I'm sure there are plenty 'closet pedophiles' who are attracted to children, but see that it is not ethicly possible to do this. Punish the rape, don't punish a way of thinking.
  • 1) I am always amused by the sight of libertarians, anarchists, and other self-proclaimed anti-statists falling over themselves to pronounce judgement upon the latest individual picked up by law-enforcement and charged with whatever crime 20/20 is currently describing as an epidemic sweeping the nation. I would never posit a monolithic /. ideology, to be sure, but many of the discussions hereabouts do touch upon issues such as the appropriate role of the state in the lives of its citizens, and how little the state can be trusted in just about any circumstance [examples available upon request if needed]. Given the regularity of such exchange, I hope one can understand my bemusement when I encounter so many posters so quick to accept the state's narrative describing the facts of the situation. Perhaps the fellow is guilty; perhaps he isn't. But the only evidence we've seen so far isn't even evidence; it consists of press releases written by know-nothing hacks [and I use it in the most derogatory sense of the word] regurgitating law enforcement issued screeds designed to cast the involved agencies in the best possible light in expectation of the next fiscal year. Yes, yes, I know, the sexual abuse of children is an awful thing. And, yes, I agree, that there should be laws against it. But the severity of such charges--and the ease with which representatives of the state have so often deployed such charges in the past--lead me to greet incidents such as this with some skepticism. But, of course, I can perfectly understand why a predominantly white, predominantly educated, audience of bourgeois males would be quick to jump to another conclusion.

    2) Also amusing are the posts which offhandedly take prison rape and violence as a fact of life. Some of these posts even give the appearance of suggesting that such violence is an acceptable form of penal control and punishment. Recently there was a scholarly work [and I apologize for allowing the citation to slip from memory at this moment, but I'm sure Lexis could remember for you] which set about exploring the role of prison rape within the American penal system. Not surprisingly, the authors concluded that the process was, at the least, implicitly endorsed by the state, if not subject to consideration as an explicit technique used to intimidate individuals into toeing the line. What troubles me most about the posters' acceptance of prison rape and violence as acceptable techniques of penal control is the unstated premise: that the victims deserve it, because their presence in the penal system establishes their criminal guilt. Such an assumption is laughably ridiculous to anyone familiar with the mechanism that is American justice in this day and age... or, for that matter, to anyone with any acquaintances involved in big city, state, or federal law enforcement.

    Enough for now. Next time I'll explain why I find anti-statist libertarians who support the death penalty so pathetic.

    "A 1994 survey, conducted by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and costing taxpayers some $750,000 over five years, examined over 12,000 accusations of ritual abuse, finding no physical evidence to back up any of them." Remember the late '80s? Remember the individuals put away for life because 5 year old children testified they had been carried on flying broomsticks to far-away sites where they were forced to take part in dark rituals? They went to prison labelled predators of the worst type: persons who hurt children.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh give me a break. I think the premise here is that in this country, theyre is no such thing as consensual sex with a 13 year old. Called statutory rape, methinks. If you think this law is out of date and there should be age of consent at 13, then wirte your congressman ;-) or leave the US.

    As far as entrapment, yeah that's a tough one. I guess if they had sent him explicit pictures of a 13 year old girl to his e-mail and invited him to come onto IRC and then led him to a meeting, that would be a better argument for entrapment. But this guy sounds like a lowlife if he goes cruising on father&daughter and sends links of pictures of himself and sets up 'dates'.

    My god, there are enough 18 and above girls out there, leave the 13 year olds alone for christ's sake. It would be different (somehow) if he was just crising online for kicks, but trying to meet a little girl in real life to do something is just sick.

    Good. He belongs behind bars, and certainly does not belong in a position running a content network for little kids.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's embarassing as Hell. Funny article, though. Looks like this guy is gonna get the shaft (in more ways than one!).
  • Seems like an awful lot of comments all of a sudden disappeared. I had 3. Looks like the same people are posting now (i.e. jcr, etc.). What happened, Rob? And yes, my threshold is on -1.
  • You moron. This is a proven method many municipalities use to capture pedophiles. How many times do we have to hear about some young girl being molested by a perv they met online? The man INTENDED to have sex with a 13-year-old girl. Do you think arresting someone for hiring a hit man should be called entrapment and the accused let go? I don't think so.
    Anyone who sees the method in which this PEDOPHILE was taken down either has too many delusions about the government or some other serious problem....
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 )
    Good. Man, I can stomach consenting people doing anything they want sexually so long as it doesn't involve kids or animals (the two groups who can't really give consent).

    You're going to hear a lot of bull about how this is somehow a violation of his privacy, but anyone trying to lure 13 year-old girls to his house deserves to be put away for a long, long time.

    My only beef is that they'll probably just lock him up for a few years and then release him without trying to give him the help he obviously needs.


  • They should have had a young woman, perhaps an 18yo who looked very young, and like the girl in the picture that was sent to him, waiting.

    That way they'd know from how he acted when he saw her if he was trying to have sex with her, or actually thought she was older, and that he did want to have sex, but thought it was someone older with the same fantasies he had.

    If he'd been met by someone playing the 13yo who he had talked to, perhaps he'd have shown through his actions that he didn't really intend there to be a young girl, or maybe he'd have tried to take her to a nearby hotel. Let him prove their case for them. The fact that they arrested him before he had a chance to do anything seems to suggest that they didn't think he would.

    And the kiddy porn shouldn't really be relevant. It shows that he had a fantasy about kiddy porn, but that's obvious from what he's fantisizing about. It doesn't show that he would actually do anything about it. It's a seperate crime, and he should be liable for any appropriate penalties, but it shouldn't be evidence against him at his trial.

    btw, I think he has a good case with the "I was sure she was just roleplaying" thing, mainly due to the way the FBI mishandled this. They were in a dad&daughter sex channel, even if that doesn't equal entrapment (He saw it and that gave him the idea he wouldn't have otherwise had.) it would indicate that the person on the other end wasn't really a 13yo girl. Then when they arrested him just for showing up, without trying to find out what he'd do if she did appear to be 13...

    I'm pretty sure the guy is a bit of a sleeze, but I'm unwilling to say he deserves a long prison sentence without them doing more to prove his guilt.
  • I don't excuse him but I'm scared by the FBI methods.

    In most civilized country of the world yhe police has not the right to provoke a crime.
  • You give the guy too many allowances.

    First, he apparently wasn't into this just for the chatting. Chatting was a means to an end, and he expressed definite interest in sex with minors and boasted of having sex with a 16 year old. Sure, some people like to go into chats and claim all sorts of things, but this guy was definitely predatory.

    If he thought he was just acting out a fantasy with a woman who was of legal age but they were pretending she was under-age, wouldn't you think he'd be concerned about the law and her true age, and upon meeting her ask for some proof of age? If I had a need to act out some kiddie-sex fetish but only in a fantasy sense, I'd sure make sure I was with an adult lest I get my ass arrested.

    She did not have to be 13 for his actions to be a crime.

    The FBI had what the news sources call a female deputy waiting for him, alone (seemingly) at the meeting place. Now, I think anyone can be deputized for a specific purpose, so this could actually have been a 13 year old, just as the police will send in real minors to try to purchase cigarettes and alcohol to check stores' compliance with those laws. Perhaps this deputy wasn't 13, but a young-looking 18...doesn't matter. He had stated his desire to meet a minor for the purpose of sex, and there he was, as promised, ready to commit the act. And upon meeting the girl, he didn't back out and say it was all just a game.

    I've seen several stories of arrests of men who either had sex with or propositioned sex from minors, both boys and girls, and they used chat rooms to get things started. You're naive if you think it's all role playing or a joke, and you're worse than naive if you think it's ok.

  • See here []. Somehow, this page about Haughton [] was pulled.
  • I can't believe it -- he was arrested for chatting with someone who *claimed* to be a minor? What a joke. I can't believe how far it's going. I believe you can't blame someone until they've actually commited something for real -- what do we know? A lot of people might be turned on by the idea of having with 13 yo (not me!), that does'nt mean that when the occasion actually arises they will do it. This is sickening. Roleplaying -- that's what chat room seem to about, isn't it? Now it's forbidden to play anything but some PC shit. Absurd.
  • Things like that happen. I'm glad to see the story has been relinked.

    You'll have to pardon us crazies who are a bit set in our ways--all the recent changes on /. make us a bit jumpy. :)

    Overall, tho, I think it is better to jump the gun a little in defending free speech than to turn a blind eye to everything.
  • Quite so, well said that chap.

    I don't buy any 'invasion of privacy' stuff - if it violates the law of the land by transferring pr0n over a state boundary (or whatever dodgy rule they have in the US) then it violates it. And someone who breaks the law deserves their ass kicked.
    (Of course, that law being a bit off is a different matter - you discuss the law first and break it second, not the other way round, though.)

    Is one allowed to say he's one sick bunny, these days?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    no doubt they'll be an inquiry into JAVA now on how it can turn sensible people into kiddie fiddlers. Brad
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One issue I see overlooked in this case is the age of the children in the "child porn" on his hard drive.

    Okay, so he propositioned a 13 year old girl over the net. Ignoring entrapment and other such issues, is this really such a horrible crime. In my state, the age of consent is 14. At most, he planned on committing statutory rape. And I can tell you, there's a lot of that going around - it just usually doesn't cross state lines. An awful lot of 13 year old girls know exactly what they're getting into when they seek sex with an older man.

    And he had "child porn" on his computer. Again, was it preteens (sick sick sick) or was it merely under-18 porn? The latter isn't really a big deal... if a female is sexually mature (regardless of her age) then I don't see anything wrong with getting turned on by it. Maybe his "child porn" is an illicit pic of Traci Lords from one of her banned videos taken when she was 17.

    I think it's interesting how everyone assumes he's a pedophile. More likely, he's just a dirty old man.

    And of course there's the possibility that the FBI framed him. Oh right... what am I thinking... the FBI never lies... scratch that.
  • Well.. quit whining and move on. What's the only that wastes more time than an overmoderated post? A followup comment where someone bitches about it.
    If it really ruined your day, metamoderate down.
  • I think the whole thing is disgusting. People usually do stuff like this because it was done to them. Instead of giving them the psychological help they need, they're thrown in prison and abused more.

    There is a big myth-conception that child-molestors are just sick people who, given the right counseling, can recover. This is not supported by the figures. IIRC, approx 90 percent of child molestors relapse upon release from prison -- even if they did have psychiatric help. Molesting children is completely a power issue. It's actually a very low percentage of child molestors who are just 'passing the love along' (ie, were molested themselves, in turn). Yes, prison will not help with these power issues, but rather exacerbate them, leaving the molestor (if he gets out alive) needing even more to verify to him/herself they are still in power over somebody... hence more kiddies. Sure, they're supposed to inform the proper authorities of where they plan to move and make sure they're not near an area with a high child density (much less a playground), but the simple fact is, they don't. They claim it ruins their life, people don't want them living near them, and so on. Think about it. Within two weeks, they know all the nearby parks as well as the regulars at each one. I find that scary.

    Maybe I'm a bit more callous than your average joe because I grew up in a country where the death sentence (as well as other punitary mutilations) are carried out quite often: Saudi Arabia. Let me say the crime rate there is amazingly low, though there are definitely drawbacks to their system which keep me from completely endorsing their punitary system.

    Where is the "correction"? Where is the therapy that will reform the criminal into an ordinary person who will be of some use to themselves and to society?

    I'm no fluffy bunny, but I'll tell you it is there. It's not the best, it's not available for everybody, and it doesn't always work, but for the handful of success stories we have I am unwilling to throw it all out the window. It is not successful with child molestors, though, and until then I am of the view they should be killed as they're not worth the tax money to keep them warm, fed and alive until they die of 'natural causes'.

    Droit devant soi on ne peut pas aller bien loin...

  • Every time something like this happens people invariably start posting things like "Censorship!" "Big brother!" "Slashdot sucks now!"

    Yet every single time it's happened it's either been a site glitch or human error. You'd think people would figure this out?

    Slashdot has always been about openness, full disclosure -- anything *but* censorship. Do you really think they would totally reverse that philosophy for an article like *this*? It really isn't even all that controversial.
  • >One cannot actually solicit prostitution from a police officer (at least I hope not).

    Yes, you can. If you offer someone money to have sex with you, you have solicited prostitution, whether or not you believe the other person will take you up on it, and whether or not they do. Cops in vice stings have to be very careful to make the "john" offer money for sex, without actually offering sex for money themselves.
  • I don't remember talking about what I'd RATHER do. I was talking about the legal fact. Legally intent is a major part, but not the only part of the law. Attempted murder carries less than a third of the sentence of actual murder. Less than manslaughter even. We can all prefer whatever we wish, but I was talking strictly about the law.
  • Not everyone is a fed, but every 13 year old Female is. Anyone who knows a 13 yr old girl knows that the last thing she wants is some old loser business man. So let me narrow that a bit more... Any 13 Yr old girl who wants to talk to _you_ is a fed. ---e (coincidence really)
  • .. as usual.

    There is no 'attempted' crime: he was chatting, and (apparently) moved to meet his 'victim'. We don't know if he would have attempted anything.
  • I think some folks miss why this is potentially scary.

    I think that if the guy is guilty, then he ought to be punished, using some *reasonable* definition of guilty.

    Problem is, few folks agree on what's reasonable in terms of child sex/porn. Some think 18 is an unreasonably high age for consent. Some think child porn shouldn't neccessarily be illegal to own.

    Most think it should be illegal to have sex with 13 year olds, or produce photographic child porn (i.e. take pictures of). It's illegal in the US to own pictures of a 17 year-old taken in a country where it was legal.

    In between, it's a bit gray.

    Even if the laws are unreasonable, just try to compaign for allowing certain forms of child porn, and see how far you get. It will take a case like this going to the Supreme Court for a different precedent.

    I expect that if the guy gets charged with even just chatting, he will get nailed with a major crime. The minimum would be contributing to deliquency.. The most would be the same as if he actually had sex with a 13 year-old, despite there being no actual teenager involved.

    If you think the US doesn't prosecute thought crimes, or intent, then you haven't been watching the hacking cases. Bernie S. got nailed for having a red box, not using it. In many states, you can get prosecuted for carrying anything that might be considered a burglary tool, unless you're a locksmith.

    We're already well past the point where you can get arrested because you *might* commit a crime.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @08:39AM (#1672961)
    It's always a shame to see aomeone fall from such heights as this. If he is indeed guilty, though, I have absolutely no sympathy for him at all.

    However, this is going to prove very problematic. Censors and snoopers alike are going to have a field day, thanks to the fact that this case will inevitably become quite high-profile. Censors will decry the ease of transmission of information on the Net, claim it's "a haven for chold pronography" and demand censorship (not like they haven't been doing it already, but now they have a high-profile case to latch onto).

    Snoopers, on the other hand, will show how "people like this" use encryption to hide their activity from law enforcement, therefore "they" need a backdoor. Worse, since their point is semi-valid, they'll sway a lot more people over to their side than they would with pure crap.

    Note I said semi-valid; they have a right to investigate, but it does not counter or override the people's right to privacy. I'll gladly let the FBI search my computer and decrypt my stuff, but they're going to have to show me a warrant first. If they don't, then they aren't getting into my machine, plain and simple.

    But I digress. The point is, even if justice is served in this case, it could very well pave the way for injustices of the worst kind later on. We're going to have to watch this very carefully.
  • I think the whole thing is disgusting. People usually do stuff like this because it was done to them. Instead of giving them the psychological help they need, they're thrown in prison and abused more. When they get out, they're probably in an even more unstable position, likely to strike again. And the people who beat them in prison, who were probably put there for beating people outside of prison, get to do more beating, which doesn't help THEIR case either.

    I don't think prison is for correction. I think prison is for revenge. Anyone who thinks otherwise ought to look at the facts. Where is the "correction"? Where is the therapy that will reform the criminal into an ordinary person who will be of some use to themselves and to society?

    When he gets out, depending on where he lives, he may be required to inform everyone in his neighborhood of what he's done. Furthermore, he will have to announce it to whoever he tries to get a job from. (I've never seen a job application that didn't require disclosure of any convictions.) His prison sentence really won't end when he gets out. It will continue for the rest of his life.

    I don't condone what he did. I think that this variety of perversion is an evil that ought to be eradicated from society. But not by making the perpetrators destitute. It ought to be addressed by treatment. There ARE ways of getting this disease under control.

  • by fable2112 ( 46114 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @06:46AM (#1672984) Homepage

    Admittedly, the content of THIS story makes me think that the alleged offender, if he truly did these things, needs to be locked up with the key thrown away.

    I can't bring myself to consider a 37-year-old having sex with someone he *knows* is a young teenager as anything other than predatory.

    However, a lot of organizations are losing a lot of good volunteers these days. A lot of schools are losing a lot of good teachers. People are scared to work with kids because they might fit the fictional profile of a molester. (Never mind that this almost never meshes with the actuality -- and yes, as a matter of fact, I *am* speaking from personal experience that I would rather forget.)

    Are you gay or bisexual? Are you online a lot? Are you ANYthing other than Protestant? Are you a single male working with children not your own? Guess what, if the answer to any of those questions is "yes", you're a real nice tempting target for a false accusation of child molestation, something that could completely ruin your life.

    What drives me still nuttier is this: Suddenly, giving an upset kid a hug could easily become a federal crime. ALL touch from an adult other than a parent is sexualized -- now what kind of fucked-up message does THAT send to kids, hmm?
  • They were simply hanging out in IRC chat rooms. They weren't targeting any specific person. He probably saw "her" online, initiated contact, and moved from there. The feds just sit and wait for someone to contact them. Usually they don't have to wait long.

    Let's not give unnecessary credence to any more Big Brother conspiracies. Slashdot has enough of them already. :)
  • Lately (or at least since I've been paying attention) everyone says that we're innocent until proven guilty, but the converse seems to be true. Especially when it comes to matters of sexual misconduct. The mere accusation of misconduct is enough to make life very uncomfortable for the accused.

    Even if they are aquitted, if the accusation is withdrawn - or even if it is proven false in court, the stigma remains. A person accused this way may be vindicated morally, but often loses their job, and ends up moving out of the area, because of the ghosts that follow them.

    This tendency to blow accusations out of proportion is getting out of hand. Once the media and the gossip-mill get a hand on the news, it becomes so widely disseminated that facts don't have a chance.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that once proved guilty, the punishment should be maximal. I personally favor tatooing the convicion on the forehead of the perpetrator. But, we should certainly withold judgement until the machine has done it's work, and a jury has returned a verdict.

    And if we're not on the jury, let's get on with our lives. We'll read about the case soon enough (Except if it involves O.J., Jon Bennet, M$ or the Clintons). The Brits seem to manage this type of thing better - black out the news until it's done.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As an unmarried white male in my 30s, there is no way in hell I would ever assist a child, period, in any way. I see a kid crying on the street... I look the other way and keep going. I see a confused and lost kid in a department store... I might tell the oldest female clerk in the area, but I ain't going near the kid. I see a little kid being chased by a guy wearing a hockey mask and swinging a chainsaw... well, I might call 911 but I'd do it anonymously, and I'd make sure I didn't leave any fingerprints on the payphone.

    In the US today, if you're a man, being around kids is dangerous for your health. Sometimes even if they're your own kids.
  • Moderators: You don't moderate something up or down based on weither you agree with it or not. How did this get to be a 5? It contains no information, it's not informative, and it's bairly insightful.
  • kidzero asks:
    >Is he a child molestor if he didn't actually commit a crime?

    A reasonable question. He's not charged with child molestation, but with "crossing state lines to have sex with a minor" -- and it's been recognized for some time that the target can be an adult law enforcement officer, but because of the defendant's predisposition to the crime, he is guilty. (Lack of predisposition is the crux of any successful entrapment defense -- such as the one you cited. That individual had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be cleared, though.) This is one relevant Supreme Court case [].

    It's a smaller crime than actually molesting someone, but part of the purpose of these stings is media attention -- that is, ruined careers, friendships, etc. The idea is that they do enough of these high-profile arrests and fewer people will have the balls to go through with the real crime with real kids. In a word, deterrence.

    Aside from the solicitation, though, Naughton was caught with a bunch of child pornography on his computer. Even if he gets a light sentence for the solicitation (which is likely), he'll still face imprisonment for the porn.
  • by lythander ( 21981 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @11:35PM (#1673045)
    Your tax dollars at work...

    Pedophiles are loathesome, detestable creatures. They're not new, nor are they rare. But in the past, how many men in such a position could have been propositioned by a 13-year-old? Does the FBI really need to go around drumming up business? Aren't there enough ACTUAL criminals without the FBI turning some POTENTIAL criminals into new ones. Besides, what of people who think they might commit a crime, but stop at some point (a point after which a zealous agent might already have arrested them) before actually committing a crime? Obviously one doesn't want to wait until the suspect is actually committing the act, but showing up can hardly be a crime, maybe he was just going to yell at this kid and find her parents and yell at them for being such morons. (I'm not gullible, he's probably a schmuck, but don't these people have bombers and such to find? They've proven they can catch one sicko who, left to his own devices, would likely have never hurt anyone, but they can't catch Erik Rudolph!)
  • Oh dear, I can't believe it. The timing just seems so incredibly perfect !

    Wherever this (rather muddy) story ends up, I can't help noticing the fact that it is brought to public attention just after Disney's acquired Infoseek and decided to set up its new "kids-safe" portal GoGuardian.

    Even more flabbergasting [tm] is the fact that this scandal rises just as Disney launches its "SafeSurfing week" [] in Europe. This campaign is aimed at "giving children and parents basic tips of safety on the internet". Paedophilia is among its primary subjects...

    This is no conspiracy stuff. I simply find it extremely amusing to see those oh-so-virtuous people discovering wolves in thir own shepherds.

    Happy /.ing to all.
  • 13 year old girls should be out playing with their dolls, not being manipulated by old men. I just hope this whole event is focused on Naughton and not the internet. The internet is a medium, it is people with bad intentions who do bad stuff in that medium. The rest of us are not children and we would thank the law makers to recognize that the problem is the people who break the laws and not the medium that allows them to do it. Most of us are responsible. Please live with the fact that you cannot catch them all and cracking down on the medium is only going to hurt the larger population without affecting the bad guys one bit.

    If you replace the internet with any other medium for doing bad you get the same thing. Guns can kill people, the internet can proliferate violence against children (and adults), knives can be used to kill, etc etc etc. Taking away the internet (or heavily regulating it) will not stop the child molesters, it will simply force them into another medium. We have to accept that bad things will happen and in a free society you can't stop EVERYONE. The only way to stop everyone is to take away all freedoms. If there is freedom, someone, somewhere is going to take advantage of it and use it for their own personal gain. This is why we have law enforcement. They will never end crime all together, they are simply there to keep things peaceful.

    We must accept our freedom with two caveats:

    1. We must defend it.

    Politicians are on the front lines and get a lot of messages coming from many directions. Victims are justified in lobbying for tougher penalties and stricter regulation. However the politicians need to hear our side of the story to remind them that although we agree and deeply sympathize(SP?) with the victims, it is the criminals who broke the law and not the medium they broke it in. This is why Rob started "Your Rights Online".

    2. There will always be people who will break the law.

    Accept the fact that there will always be someone who is going to break the laws for their own personal gain (or some other twisted reason the shrinks can sort out later). In fact, being able to break the laws is an important "right" in itself. Civil disobedience is an important driver for social and political change. When stealing a small item at a convenience store results in the death penalty, the price of civil disobedience will simply be too high and that "right" will effectively go away. The best defense is to be vigilant and defend yourself when necessary. You could defend yourself as easily as calling 911 or in an extreme sense with a gun.

    Thank you for your time.

  • I found this news pretty damn funny, actually. Two important things to note:

    1) Everyone on IRC but myself is an FBI agent.
    2) "hotseattle" is one hell of a funny nick.

    - E
  • by Pomme de Terre! ( 69783 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @12:37PM (#1673070)
    I am the person who submitted this story to Slashdot. When I first ran across the headline "Infoseek Exec Arrested" I was very uninspired to read the story. Something in my head told me to continue, however.

    Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the executive in question would be Patrick Naughton.

    I am a 3rd year computer science major, but while I was still in high school I was not very serious about computer science. (I just coded for kicks.) That all changed when I read a 1995 (?) issue of InternetWorld. Inside was the greatest interview I'd ever read... a techy, smart conversation with a Starwave executive.

    This exec freely stated his opinions on Microsoft, Java, the Internet, and the future of technology. He was brilliant, fun, and clever. He was who I wanted to be.

    I changed my entire perspective on code, software, computer science. I looked at things analytically... I decided to do things the Right Way. All thanks to an interview with Patrick Naughton.

    Now, it may sound stupid to many, but this man indirectly changed my life. That's why this whole situation is pretty difficult for me. All of his accomplishments, in the eyes of many, are nonexistant. He was a pioneer in Java. He wrote the original Hot Java browser. He went on to lead Starwave, a company that pushed the boundaries of web site design and content. He then settled in a comfortable position at Infoseek. A hell of a life, filled with lots of money and accomplishments.

    But that probably won't mean much anymore.

    I'm sorry for you Patrick. Thank you for changing my life. I only wish that you'd have shown better judgement in your own.

    Pomme de Terre
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm almost with you on this, except that he supposedly tried to meet up with her in California having travelled down from Seattle for this purpose. That's taking role playing to excess I would think. If she had (pretended to be) 16, I would say that the little slut was asking for it, but 13 ? You would have to be a pretty disturbed 37 year old to want to fuck a 13 year old - they're just not ripe at that age.
  • Here is the Jacobsen vs United States [] case involving the man targeted in a child porn sting. Even though he was convicted and every appeal along the way affirmed the government's case, the Supreme Court agreed that the investigation as conducted was entrapment.
  • by Mawbid ( 3993 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @11:54PM (#1673093)
    this is vapourware of sorts. He hasn't been convicted. Innocent until proven guilty, right? You've said it a thousand times, now live by it.

    That doesn't stop anyone from discussing what he is or deserves if he's found guilty, we should just be careful to qualify our statements with "if he's guilty" or speak in general terms. Most people seem to be doing this, actually.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 1999 @11:54PM (#1673094)

    I don't think they have much to nail him on for the following reasons:

    1. It would probably be easy to show that the agent's chatting characteristics (they way she wrote, what she wrote, intelligence, maturity etc.) were not consistent with that of a 13 y/o thus leadig 'hotseattle' (he should get time for the nick) to believe he's talking to someone more mature then they pretend to be.

    2. When was the last time anyone in a chat believed what they were told by someone else? There is no concrete way in a chat to know who you're talking to. Just because she said she was 13 does not make it true. People tend to fib alot in chats. This FBI story makes this point even more salient.

    3. It would be arguable that even if the FBI agent had sent him a photograph of her 13 y/o self or any other 'evidence' he still had no real way of knowing her true age.

    4. I doubt the FBI had a 13 y/o waiting for him in LA. It would be easy for him to claim that when he saw an adult waiting he decided to go ahead with it. Had he seen a 13 y/o he would have backed out bla bla bla.

    In summary, he can claim a zillion things stemming from the fact that there is no way for anyone to know who they are chatting with in a chat room.
    The only punishment he will get is a nuked career....

    BTW is possesion of child pornography (for personal use only, of course :) illegal?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 1999 @11:55PM (#1673098)
    Not that I chat online all that much, but sheesh it seems like if you are into cyber-sex you'd have to be very careful these days.

    Yes, the article says the FBI agents repeated said they were 13, as part of their phoney persona, but when did they say it? And even so, does that count? It was chat, there was no way of actually verifying age - and much of online chat is about role-playing and fantasy (how many cyber sex females are actually female).

    Suppose you meet someone online, engage in some pretty crazy fantasy, and want to pretend she is a teenager. She says she is 13. She is really an overweight housewife of 45. Have you done anything illegal? Not in my book.

    This guy probably did in fact believe the girl he was talking to was 13, but that is a very fine line to walk. It is quite a bit different than an adult man trying to seduce a teenager in the real world.

    Now granted, attempting to actually meet (real world) someone you met online, that you believe is 13, for the purposes of engaging in sexual activities, is pretty damned shady. But still, did he actually do anything?

    The idea of getting arrested for a crime you might have committed is frankly very Orwellian. But there does appear to be quite a lot of lee-way in the American judicial system in this regard. Prostitution busts follow the same pattern. The Jon's are arrested for soliciting prostitution, in a situation in which a prostitute is not even present - it's a cop. The Jon is effectively arrested for his intent, what he thought the situation was, not based on the reality of the situation. One cannot actually solicit prostitution from a police officer (at least I hope not).

    I don't know much about the legal precedents surrounding these sorts of things, but it seems to me that this sort of thing is getting out of hand.

    I know, kiddie porn sucks, pedaphiles should be arrested - but only for committing actual crimes. I don't believe the framers of the constitution had in mind this bizarre form of preventative law enforcement.
  • Well if you've ever seen Jeremy Ellison in an interview at his house you know that the guys who run successful internet businesses are pretty wierd. We're talking perfectly spaced shirts, Pluto wierdness. Wierdness seems to be a prerequisite to gamble your life on something as percarious as internet startups and they're wierdness just somehow attracts fbi agents.
  • I sure wish someone would decribe exactly (and legally) what constitutes child pornography.

    1) I've seen a few pictures of myself right after being born with my bright-red, freshly snipped pecker.

    2) Is that child porn? Should my parents be arrested for having the picture? What about me mailing the picture to my fiancee in some other state? Have I distributed child pornography?

    3) Now, what about getting circumcised at the age of 13 -- the doctors take before and after pictures and give them to my family. See point #2. Suppose somehow these two pictures are distributed (either accidentally or on purpose) separately, and no one knows that they're to show the results of a medical procedure. Are those two pictures considered pornographic?

    I guess what I'm asking here is, how to you figure the "purpose" of a picture? Where is the line between child pornography and documentation?

  • Sorry, but I do have to take issue with this. There are a LOT of unfounded accusations of this nature out there. Just ask anyone, particularly any male adult, who has tried to start a support group for gay teenagers. Oh yes, and I had completely forgotten the long list of Satanic Panic influenced cases.

    Go spend some time over at especially in their section on "Sadistic Ritual Abuse." This epidemic DOES NOT EXIST. Innocent people's lives were completely ruined by this, both the alleged offenders who have at best had their reputations destroyed, and at worst are still rotting in jail. And the kids who now believe thanks to improper questioning by well-meaning therapists that they HAVE been abused are going to be screwed up probably for life.

    I know, I'm ranting. But since I am bisexual and pagan (two strikes against me, right?), and I am also a survivor of sexual assault, this issue puts me on a reallllly short fuse. Hell, I'm supposedly more of a risk to kids because I *am* a survivor. This is insane.

  • Someone who knows that they have kiddie porn on their laptop consents to a search of it by the FBI? That doesn't strike you as a little, well, odd?
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @11:56PM (#1673115) Homepage
    Here's a legal clarification for all the good /.'ers out there siding with the child molester:

    The Man can provide the opportunity to do a crime. What they cannot do it provide encouragement or somehow otherwise force or draw someone into performing an illegal act that they wouldn't do without the Fed's involvement.

    For example, providing an opportunity for someone to solicit a 13 year old is not entrapment, because the scumball in question took the initiative. Note that what's important here is the subject's intent and their belief -- I don't actually have to intend to kill a guy's wife for him o break the law by hiring me to do so, so long as he believed that I was a professional killer. I add this in because some moron actually posted that this was roleplaying. Yeah.

    In any event, everyone protesting that this pedophile's rights were violated really needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves where their "privacy" rights end and the rights of their 13 year old daughter or sister or whatever not to be sexually fsck'ed up for life begin.

    This guy needs to be removed from any position to hurt kids. I know some of you are so jaded from hearing politicians talk about "protecting children" that you can't see the forest for the trees anymore, but this is actually a case of protecting children from a sick individual.


  • These kind of cases tend to make me feel a bit sick. And not necessarily because of the fact that pedophilia is despicable.

    Not too long ago there was a case about an alledged pedophile here in Lund where I study. (He was a researcher at some liberal-arts institute.) Apparently they had found child-pornography on his work computer and thus he was prosecuted. The papers naturally made a big deal out of it and he seemed to be very guilty. (His name was never mentioned, but since he was no longer allowed to work at school it wouldn't be hard for someone to work out who he was.) The papers had some stuff about how he had told someone that the pictures where "research" and then given a different story to the police.

    Later on it turns out he had been on leave for about half a year. During this period of time he hadn't been using his computer very much naturally. This did, unexpectedly not appear in very many headlines.

    My point is that I find these witchhunts that the media persue again and again to be in some cases worse than the crimes. The current "witch" at least in Sweden are pedophiles, formely they have been BBS-junkies (who were alledgly bombmaking terrorists). Similarities can for instance be seen in Littletown with goths. (I'm not making any claims about goths' sexual preferences or anything of that kind here.)

    Why is it that so much of todays media are sensational? Why does todays news have to be more gruesome than yesterdays? And why do so many people put up with it?

    And then I read some of the comments here on /. and they were almost worse. From the artcles I saw no real conclusive evidence that the man *hadn't* seen it all as a "roleplay". Now I don't have the IRC logs, so I can't really make a judgement here. The point is, neither does anyone else. (Unless you work for the prosecution or so.)

    Another thing that frightens me a bit is that the guy is mentioned with full name, occupation etc. Even if he is found innocent he will be marked as "pedophile" for the rest of his life. So sue the papers you say, but will that make his life better? It's not as if he has a shortage of money.

    I'm not condoning his alledged actions. I'm not trying to say that pedophiles are "only misunderstood people ". I am trying to say that with all the new technology we have at our hands today it becomes easy to pump out news at a rapid rate. And for many more people to see the same news than ever before. (Not that I'm telling you something new here.)

    Unfortuantely it also seem like many people fail to understand that there are actually people behind those news. And it often seem as if the reporters don't remember that either. So before you start lighting up the tourches and marching off to burn a new witch, make sure it's not some innocent old lady.
  • jmp100 wrote:
    >I read a news article a long time ago about pictures of Brooke Shields. Her mother
    >signed a contract with a photographer, who then took pictures of her before and during a
    >bath. Rather gross if you ask me, but then I don't understand lots of what people call "art."

    That would be the film Pretty Baby [], written and directed by the late Louis Malle. In the context of portraying Keith Carradine's character's sexual interest in young girls, the character played by the young Brooke Shields is portrayed fully nude. It was intended to be shocking. While such a film might not be made today, it was completely legal under the pornography laws in place in 1978 (and probably still is, except in Kansas ...).
  • Some random notes...

    * With the chat transcripts only, one *might* be able to make a case that he wouldn't *really* have gone for a 13-yr-old; *maybe*. There'd have to be some strong indications from his part, 'tho, in what was said; if he never contradicted that during the conversations or elsewhere, then he (and his lawyers) have a tougher nut to crack.

    His having kiddie porn *seriously* damages his case, methinks, since it makes it far harder to argue that he wouldn't pursue young teens.

    * Yes, people fib in chats. But there have been instances of teens actually running off from home to meet people that they meet online, suggesting that some aren't being raised paranoid 'nuff. It happens.

    * About child porn: I'm pretty sure that it's illegal to transmit across state lines, or even possess. Off-hand, I don't know whether that's a result of anti-obscenity measures, or whether it's based on non-consent somehow. Anyways, there have been high-profile cases of people busted for sending it across state lines, anyway.

    * It's akin to a phone conversation. It's pretty difficult to verify that anybody whom you're not meeting in person is who/what they say they are, but if (say, a decade ago) you called a number in Medellin and asked for a hundred kilos, neither the DEA or a jury is going to buy an argument that you were just kidding around.
  • Try not to do that. Nicolas MONNET made a point about roleplaying. Personally, I think that point is pretty much negated by the man going through with the meeting -- or do I? I'm not sure. I can imagine him being into roleplaying sick shit like that and then going to the meeting, seeing a woman and not a 13 year old girl and thinking "oh what a relief, I thought maybe she really was 13, boy would that have been embarrassing!". I don't know how highly I'd rate that possibility if I were on the jury, though.

    Anyway, obviously Nicolas and I are morons in your view and not only that, we're sick morons because we're "siding with" the accused. Fuck, I don't know why we even go on living.

  • As an American, I'm amused to see a Frenchman doing all he can to promote the stereotype of the snobby-but-clueless Frenchman. HAND. And as if atheism weren't as presumptuous as the rest... {shrug}

    I'm quite sure that you don't have to swear on the Bible in a U.S. court, considering that one can affirm instead (as certain religions forbid the swearing of oaths as such). I suppose an agnostic or atheist could make a strong case for swearing on a volume of the U.S. Code...

    'suppose, were I ever to be dragged into court, I could make a case that swearing on a book that whose contents I do not fully accept would be rather disrespectful of those that do, and arguably blasphemous. What they really require is the verbal version of signing your name to a statement that you're not about to commit perjury; once that's entered in the court records, you're bound by law regardless of whether it was a paper signature or an oath sworn in court in front of witnesses or what have you.
  • ...this news bite appears and a couple of minutes later it is pulled from the index page. The title changes from "Patrick Naughton Jailed" to "Patrick Naughton Arrested" and the story remains off the index page in spite of a new news link being added to it.

    While the initial title was incorrect, and thus irresponsible journalism, having something yanked off Slashdot is just to wierd for me. Something that is a valid news article is hotter than publishing information on how to access people's personal email when the Hotmail crack was released?

    How does that work? The Slashdot community wants to know this story. Tell us little people who slapped your wrists and what next.

    Oh, and convicted pedophiles deserve all that they get. I can't comment on the FBI procedures as they seem the only way to track down this kind of crime. I wouldn't like my privacy violated in this kind of way but... No. Heinous crime is heinous crime.
  • In the US all child porn is illegal, even possesion. Its a lot like drugs, except drugs make every feel good...

    All these 'chat room' cases stink of so much entrapment. Open flirting, more lies than you can shake a child-sized dildo at, charges filed before any real crime is commited, imo.

    Whats the charge at this point - soliciting sex? Where's his pedophilia sexual history? What are they going to use in court other than some lame chat room transcript that really can't be used to prove age. Most 13 year old girls on the web are 30+ year old men. Maybe he just wanted some anal action.

    If your get convicted for soliciting sex from someone pretending to be a minor, then you should goto a pretend jail.

    I don't want to sound like I'm defending pedophilia, but I am going to critisize the fed's methods and integrity and very fine walk across the entrapment line. This guy may be the biggest perv of them all, but catching him in a pretend crime is BS. You can't call it a crime in progress if there isn't a real victim.

    Big Brother doesn't just watch us, he teases us , plays with us, and then takes us down.

  • In a better society, who would have detected this particular apparent problem, assuming that he didn't voluntarily step forward? His family? Co-workers? Sysadmin? (It does happen; remember a former head of the Harvard Divinity School? A computer techie discovered his (non-kiddie) porn collection; that's why he's former...).

    Or law enforcement, or one of his victims? In the former case, they'd have to be either acting pre-emptively (as in this case), or real-time (monitoring all communications), or passively (waiting for victims to emerge). In the latter case, how many would be willing and able to come forward?

    At least in this case, it seems that there isn't a trail of victims to attribute (directly) to him. {shrug}
  • One thing that was good about slashdot back in the day was that you could be certain that no "outside forces" were going to affect what stories were posted. Here it seems as tho someone upstairs didn't like this story--considered it Too Hot to be on the front page of slashdot.

    This doesn't look good. I, of course, give Rob and Crew the benefit of the doubt, that maybe it is a bug of some sort, and the story will be reposted/linked a little later.

    If it isn't, I will have to rethink why I read slashdot. I don't want "Filtered news for nerds, stuff that isn't Too Hot".

    I guess we will have to wait and see.
  • Is he a child molester if he didn't actually commit a crime? I recall a case 6-8 years ago where the FBI kept sending a guy in Nebraska child porn magazines and the like, hoping to trap him. He finally bought one in an attempt to shut up the mailers, whom he didn't know was the FBI. The courts threw the arrest, charges and what not _way_ out the window. With extreme predujice. Clearly they ruled in this case the FBI pushed the man until he did want they wanted. John de Lorean's cocaine conviction got thrown out under similar cirmunstances. If this is one of those cases, the courts will probably throw it out. Course his carrer will be toast, but, them's the breaks.
  • by thundrcast ( 91433 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @01:39AM (#1673202)
    We must remember that it wasn't his fault. He was actually the helpless victim here. He has a sexual addiction that he can not control. It's a sickness, not a choice. From what I've heard, it all stems from that fact that his he didn't have a stable childhood becuase he both his mother and grandmother wanted to care for him. It's really sad. I think the FBI should be offering help for him, check him into therapy not co-arranging visits to CA so that they can arrest him! :)
  • by jamiemccarthy ( 4847 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:11AM (#1673211) Homepage Journal
    ...having something yanked off Slashdot is just to wierd for me.

    There's nothing insidious going on - I'm still getting used to slashdot's administration software, hit the wrong button, and accidentally posted the story for a few minutes before I was done editing it. Sorry!

    Jamie McCarthy

  • It seems to be on the index page now, with the new headline.

    It bugs me that some people jump so quickly to the conclusion that "big brother" is censoring slashdot when it probably was just a technical issue. Just apply Occam's Razor, and think about how often there are "glitches" compared to how often /. censors stories.

    And I'm glad they caught the idiot. Even if you can rationalize the stuff that happened in the chatroom as "role playing" that ended when he showed up in person. Do you think he was expecting to find someone that was "role playing" with him?
  • The Java Handbook, it's ok, I use it a lot but I have better Java books. But I like the Java development history Naughton gives in the epilogue. It's about something which has been fairly important in software (not as important as the hype, but important) by a guy who was there from the beginning.
    As to the details of the case: Naughton is legally innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but he's been ruined, probably, no matter what the court outcome is. The publicity surrounding the case has turned it into a "guilty even if proven innocent" situation. This is a case where I wish someone would prevent the FBI from spilling all this stuff to the press before there has been a trial. I mean, it undermines the whole concept of a fair trial for someone to be tried in the press. Of course, Naughton may be guilty of the crimes he has been accused of, but the FBI ought not to be allowed to use the press as a weapon in this way. Trial by public accusation is a violation of due process, anyone think Naughton will have a career at Disney even if this turns out to be a frame job? How about any other prominent place in Silicon Valley?
    On a personal note, I do think that parents need to be careful about letting their kids do any of the various forms of chat on the Internet unsupervised. As a veteran former MUCKer, I know the majority of what people tell you online (at least the people I used to hang out with) is lies. I loaned over 700 bucks to a woman I met online and had felt close too for over a year (she was desperate about her rent, she told me) and soon after that she lost interest in me. Needless to say, I never got the money back, but I learned a valuable lesson about the kind of people you can meet on-line.
    I hope people will at least wait to see the kind of evidence that is presented to the defense before pre-judging this thing, though. I get suspiscious when prosecutors or police decide to release huge amounts of damaging information to the press. It makes me think they are covering themselves in case it turns out that there was massive impropriety in their case. Remember, this FBI hasn't been looking too good, lately, because of some of the crooked stuff it has pulled. Maybe Naughton looked crosseyed at the wrong politician. I'm not saying it is a case like this, only that it seems odd that they've presented such a heavy case to the press before it has even gone to trial.
  • When it comes to issues of sexuality like this I think criminalization is the only way to go.

    Ten years ago people tried to *fix* homosexuals. Now we just say that different people have different sexual preferences. You can not *fix* a homosexual because they are not broken. You also can not *fix* a pedofile. They just have a sexual preference that society does not approve of.

    I personally don't want my family to be the victim of some shrink's latest theory about how to change someone's sexual preference.

    If someone is attracted to children lock them up for good.

  • Some types of entrapment aren't that overt.

    A few years ago, I read about some guy in California who had purchased gay-themed child pornography before it had been made illegal in the United States (sometime in the late 1970s, IIRC). The police decided to go after this guy *after* the material had become illegal, so they bombarded his house with magazines and ordering information for his preference of child porn. After *many* months, the guy finally ordered some, and the police arrested him.

    The case, however, was thrown out because the judge ruled that while the man had purchased material in the past, it had been legal at the time. The police had not demonstrated that the man was actively buying new material in violation of the law, and that the constant bombardment of literature in his mail box constituted entrapment because the man testified that the only reason he bought the new literature was because he had received this material so much that he eventually decided to check it out.

  • by tongue ( 30814 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:37AM (#1673265) Homepage
    If you had read the article carefully enough, you would know that he wasn't arrested for _chatting_ with a minor--engaging in cybersex isn't a crime even with a minor. According to the affadavit filed by the FBI however, he set up a meeting for the purpose of having sex, then went to Los Angeles (which is a hell of a drive from Seattle, I might add) at the designated spot the online character set up. Coupled with the fact that in at least one conversation he gave a phone number to the agent, whom he thought was a 13-year-old, which connected to McNaughton's office, this is ample evidence that McNaughton had stepped far beyond the boundary of online role-playing. Additionally, he was also charged with child pornography offenses after a consentual search of his laptop computer turned up kiddie porn. For those of you who think that this falls under entrapment, think again. For this to even approach the legal definition of entrapment, the FBI agents would have had to made the suggestion to have sex and that McNaughton come to them or arrange for some other way of meeting. And while this is something I saw on the ZDNet talkbacks, I just wanted to state for the record that impersonating a minor is not a crime.
  • by Coward, Anonymous ( 55185 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:25AM (#1673268)
    The police did not provoke him. He initiated contact with the agent and he told the agent that he wanted to have sex with her, the agent presumably did not attempt elicit this response in any way. If the agent's conversation indicated that she was sexually interested in prior to his indication that he was sexually interested in her then it is entrapment, but once someone has indicated that they want to commit a crime, an agent can pretend that they will help them commit that crime. Entrapment is when an agent gets someone to commit a crime when there was no indication that the person wanted to commit a crime prior to the agent convincing them to. In other words, an agent can't ask you if you want to buy drugs, but if you ask an agent if they are selling drugs then the agent can pretend as if they are; agents can hang out on the streets and wait for someone to solicit them for sex, but they are not allowed to ask someone if they want to pay for sex. The agent did not proposition him, he propositioned her. The complete dialog between them was not available, but if it turns out that all he said to her was "hi" and she responded with something like "hi, i'm a 13 year old girl and i want to have sex with you" then the case will be thrown out of court because he did not indicate that he wanted to break the law until the agent proposed breaking the law to him.
  • by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:25AM (#1673269) Homepage Journal
    Apparently the FBI provoked the crime. Such practice is highly illegal, AFAIK, in my country

    I read some more on this on Wired or Zdnet, apparently their first IRC chat lasted 4 hours, there were multiple chats where the 'girl' expressed interest or at least didn't attempt to dissuade him from sexually explicit contact. To me it all appears entirely consensual. If it had actually been a 13 yr old girl she would have known she was meeting the guy for sex, it was abundantly clear that he was not trying to 'lure' some 13 year old innocent to his house so he could rape her. He was hanging out in some FATHER&DAUGHTER sex channel on IRC for christ sake! It's not like some random innocent little 13 yr old girl is just going to wander in there.
    If he were stalking kiddies he would have been in some kiddie channel or something. I really don't think the FBI has much of a case here considering their methods... Also, another FBI agent sent this guy kiddy porn. Shouldn't the FBI agent be arrested for breaking the law? This is mildly absurd. I'm all against kiddy porn and non-consensual sex, but I really don't think this was either. This was just a nasty case of Entrapment.

  • I am glad they got the (alleged)slimeball, but Infoseek jumped the gun. I have seen many people ACCUSED of crimes, then found innocent; and they already have had their lives ruined. Infoseek should not have fired him YET. They should have put im on adminstrative leave or something and fired him if it turns out to be true.
  • NEWSFLASH: Girls, on average, mature faster than boys. If I had been restricted to under-18 guys when I was 16, I'd've been bored silly. (Of course, I was also in college.)

    I've never met or talked to anyone before, even a PARENT, who thought two years was a big deal. And the AOC laws in my state allow for (IIRC) up to a five-year age difference. At that age, for most kids, five years *is* probably pushing it (it wasn't for me; I was a college sophomore). But there's a big difference between an 18 year old dating a 16 year old, and a 28 year old dating that same 16 year old. *shrug*

    Perhaps your sister *is* coloring your opinion here. But have you ever asked HER how she feels, or are you just being overprotective because you think she needs it? :P

  • Well, if you have to draw the line somewhere, what's wrong with the "sliding windows?"

    My problem with your original post was twofold: Two years is NOT a big deal to most people, in fact a one-to-two year age difference is considered the norm in most high school relationships. And, taking your post to its logical conclusion, either people shouldn't be involved in relationships at all until they turn 18 (male or female), or you'd only better date someone with the exact same birthday as you. What about one person who turns 18 four months before the other? Should they break up for four months? That is patently silly.

    Of course, there's never going to be a perfect solution, but if a two-year age difference is OK when he's 16 and she's 14, why is it less OK when he's 18 and she's 16? Makes no sense.

    And yes, a loser-meter would be nice, but if I had a fifteen-year-old daughter, I'd trust her more with someone a few years older (as long as he didn't have a known pattern of dating ONLY younger girls) than I would with the average fifteen-year-old boy. *grin* So there is also that to consider.

  • I don't see how you can compare Mr. McNaughty to drug users. Pedophiles have victims; weed smokers do not. Smoke some crack or shoot some heroin, and you're only fucking up yourself, but with pedos, there's another person involved, and it's a person who society has agreed needs to be protected even from their own decisions (i.e. we don't let them vote or buy alcohol, so their decision to have sex is likewise invalidated). There's just no comparison 'tween pedos and drug users, except for maybe minor drug users.

    Have a Sloppy day!
  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:41AM (#1673297) Homepage
    Arrest Jon Katz before he writes an article on the subject!

  • Role-playing is fine... I'm sure there's many a person who has had sexual play that's not quite kosher, but there's a difference. This guy was told 'I'm 13 years old' and then he proceeded to discuss sexual fantasies with this person. You just do NOT do that unless you can verify that the person is really a 45 year old housewife with a fetish.

    They found kiddie porn on his computer AND he crossed state lines in order to hook up with this girl. That's so, so wrong. Personally, I hope he enjoys the company of his new boyfriends in jail.
    I don't think this is a defensible action.

    This really makes me glad of one of the things that the ops of one music-chat channel I frequent do. Whenever we notice an underager, we try to befriend them in order to be sure that they can have somebody to talk to who is SAFE. To protect them from these perverts. Unfortunately I know (IRL) somebody who was the victims of one of a pedophilic bastard. After seeing the psychological damage it does, and the condition she was in previous to the abuse, it's quite obvious that pedophiles are a predatory, and dangerous breed.
  • This will seriously piss some people off, but here goes: NEWSFLASH: Most teenagers in the US are sexually active WAY before the age of 18. I sometimes question the reason behind the US "age of consent" laws. I remember sweating and stressing when I was in high school and I turned 18, but my girlfriend for the last year was still 16. The way these laws are enforced today, I could have been considered a "child sex offender" and forced to register for the next 20 years or whatever. Creepy stuff. Amazing how we in the US are willing to surrender our liberties in the name of doing what's "best for the children."

    In the past, I've worked with youth groups that have very strict controls and rules for working with children, including a complete FBI background check. Unfortunatly, the developments over the past years have casued many otherwise good people and mentors to leave the organization for fear of some kid making up a story about abuse and ruining a life.

    Not that I support the truly sick pedophiles out there that prey on children, but I can't help but wonder what this modern-day witch-hunt has done to discourage good people with a lot to offer youth groups and their members from participating. Sure, we "may protect the children" from the occaisional bad apple, but at what price? There is no way to measure what kids may be missing from never having the opportunity to meet a potentially great teacher or mentor who is now scared of interacting with kids.

  • It's illegal in Denmark too. The idea is that the police should provent crimes from happening, not provoke crimes to happen. The counter-argument is that certain kind of criminals (drug dealers) are hard to catch without the use of provocateurs. It is one of the hottest political issues in the justice debate.

    It boils down to a difference in how you view humans. Are there basically two kinds of people, good honest citizens who would never commit a crime, and evil criminals who will continue to do bad things until caught? Or is it a spectrum with people in between, who will not normally live an honest life, but may be provoked into doing crimes?

    I don't know how much of this debate relates to the present case, there seems to be some evidence against the man, besides his conversation with the provocateur.
  • by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:45AM (#1673307) Homepage Journal
    The police did not provoke him. He initiated contact with the agent and he told the agent that he wanted to have sex with her, the agent presumably did not attempt elicit this response in any way

    Soooo... hanging out in '#father&daughtersex!!!!!!!' isn't an attempt to elicit some kind of sexual response from someone else in that channel? I'd say once you enter one of those channels it's like automatically propositioning everyone else there.
    I mean, why else would you be in that channel if you weren't interested in that kind of thing? Seems pretty shady to me...

  • "The scary thing about all those charges above, is that they give people who are clearly abusing children an out."

    Exactly. And while I don't have hard numbers for unfounded accusations vs. accusations with *some* cause, and while some of these accusations don't make it into court, they are still pretty darn common. And for the most part, we have homophobia and most of all the great SRA scare to thank for that. The bigger problem is that (in my experience) the *real* abusers will more often than not fit few-to-none of the stereotypes. You know, your basic God-fearing (supposedly), married, professonal man who's got a dirty little secret or several involving little kids. *sigh*

  • by Ledge Kindred ( 82988 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @02:36AM (#1673323)
    All these undercover FBI people online huting down "perverts" makes me think of one of those "News of the Weird" columns where they related an event with undercover Miami Police arresting a bunch of undercover FBI agents who sold them drugs while the FBI guys come busting in the door to arrest the undercover Miami Police for buying them.

    One wonders how many things like this happen online:

    bigweenie: Hey baby, come on over to my place.
    imjust14: ok i'll be right over and we can have sex
    bigweenie: Yowza! I'll see you soon
    imjust14: you're under arrest for soliciting from a minor!
    bigweenie: under arrest??? I'm undercover FBI lookie for kiddie pornographers!
    imjust14: oops! ha ha!
    bigweenie: boy is MY face red! ha ha!
    imjust14: let's not tell anyone about this...

    One also wonders what all those FBI agents who run around acting like 13 year-olds online and the ones hunting down kiddie porn all day long do in their spare time....


  • So I suppose that when a dog is humping against your leg, he wants to be taken for a walk, right?

    No, he wants to be fucked up the ass. But he might just think you're an ugly, hairless canine and it's the best he can do on short notice. It'd be quite a rude awakening for the dog if you took him up on his offer and he woke up and saw you in his bed, naked and smoking a Pall Mall. It'd probably be enough to send him chasing cars on the freeway or freebasing crack for the rest of his miserable days.

    - A.P. ("It didn't tie!")


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • I don't care what state you're from or what beliefs and value system you subscribe to. The "girl" in this case was one third his age. That's absolutely revolting.

    NEWSFLASH: Most teenagers in the US are sexually active WAY before the age of 18.

    Are you using this as some sort of justification for what he was going to do? "She was menstruating anyway, what's the big deal?"

    I remember sweating and stressing when I was in high school and I turned 18, but my girlfriend for the last year was still 16. The way these laws are enforced today, I could have been considered a "child sex offender" and forced to register for the next 20 years or whatever.

    Most states' laws provide for cases like this, so long as one partner is within three years' age of the other, which seems reasonable.

    I, for one, think these particular laws serve their purpose well.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by gleam ( 19528 ) on Monday September 20, 1999 @04:06AM (#1673349) Homepage
    Okay, here goes.

    I'm trying to to get involved in the name calling and blame throwing, since the man is indeed innocent until proven guilty. AFAIKT his major crimes are possession of child pornography and attempting to meet this supposed teenager.

    Freeh, the head of the FBI spoke to congress in 1997 about child pornography, and so here are some excerpts:

    Sexual exploitation of children involves sexual activity in which the perpetrator receives sexual gratification and may benefit financially, such as through the manufacture and distribution of child pornography. Exploitation may include contacts for sexual purposes, prostitution, pornography, or other sexually exploitative activities. Increasingly, pedophiles and sexual predators are using the Internet and on-line services to target and recruit victims and to facilitate the distribution of child pornography.

    Pedophiles often seek out young children by either participating in or monitoring activities in chat rooms that are provided by commercial on-line services for teenagers and pre-teens to converse with each other. These chat rooms also provide pedophiles an anonymous means of establishing relationships with children. Using a chat room, a child can converse for hours with unknown individuals, often without the knowledge or approval of their parents. There is no easy way for the child to know if the person he or she is talking with is, in fact, another 14-year old, or is a 40-year old sexual predator masquerading as a peer. In other instances, a pedophile may use e-mail capabilities to send child pornography to persons who enter a chat room, even though the recipient does not request or want such mail.

    Any similarities seen here? Let's continue.

    In July 1996, 16 members of a group that often frequented a chat room known as the "Orchid Club" were indicted in federal court on a variety of charges involving the production and distribution of child pornography, as well as conspiracy. A joint investigation by the FBI, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service determined that individuals used the chat room to arrange for and transmit child pornography. While in the chat room, they also discussed their involvement and desires in molesting children. What was especially significant in this case was that many of those conspirators later admitted active participation in child molestations within each of their own geographic locations.

    One subject of the "Orchid Club" case admitted to having sexual attractions to girls age four to ten years old. He also admitted to writing diaries of his sexual desires for children and to secretly videotaping children at playgrounds. During a search of this subject's residence, investigators found approximately 700 floppy diskettes, 100 videotapes, diaries, writings, books, magazines, clippings, and related materials that indicated the subject's sexual interest in children.

    This isn't quite the same, but it is an interesting notion.. (assuming he's guilty) would he have eventually progressed to this?

    In 1994, the FBI initiated an innovative and proactive investigation, designated as "Innocent Images," to focus on the sexual exploitation of children through the Internet and on-line services. This investigation grew out of our experience in the May 1993 disappearance of George Stanley Burdynski, Jr., a 13-year old, in Prince George's County, Maryland. [snip] As of March 5, 1997, the "Innocent Images" investigation has generated 200 search warrants, 40 consent searches, 81 indictments, 33 informations, 91 arrests, and 83 felony convictions.

    The "Innocent Images" Task Force is staffed by agents of the FBI's Baltimore, Maryland, field office, other federal agencies, and investigators from surrounding state and local jurisdictions in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. However, it is estimated that 95 percent of the subjects identified by the "Innocent Images" investigation reside in other states.

    My assumption here is that "Innocent Images" was either behind the sting on Naughton or a major contributor of information and tactics.

    And finally, from Freeh again to a congressional subcommittee,
    Encryption. When I testified last week before the Subcommittee on the FBI's 1999 budget request, I outlined for the Subcommittee a number of challenges facing the FBI as it moves toward the 21st century. One of these challenges is the growing use of encryption by criminals to conceal their illegal activities. The "Innocent Images" initiative has uncovered sexual predators who use encryption in their communication with each other and in the storage of their child pornography computer files. This encryption is extremely difficult, and often impossible, to defeat.

    It is essential that law enforcement agencies at all levels of government maintain the ability, through court order, to access encrypted communications and data relating to illegal activity.

    I figured I'd just throw in a little encryption debate for you all to chew on.

    It strikes me that Naughton has little hope. If he is convicted he'll be very lucky to not get jail time, and his life will be saved if he doesn't. Others have mentioned this already, but it is an enormous problem (or lack thereof, in some peoples' opinions).

    Please, though, let's not judge him until the courts do.

  • by Tack ( 4642 )
    Do you honestly feel he deserves a death sentence for this?

    He didn't actually have sex with a minor, so the only crime he truly did commit was possessing chld pornopgraphy. (The law may see committing and intent to commit the same [?], but I don't; his conscience may have gotten the better of him and he may have backed out at the last minute, given the chance.)

    Furthermore, his sexual intentions were no secret. In otherwords, the "13-year-old" knew what she was getting into. I argue that is consent. That means the crime he intended to commit was statutory rape. If this had taken place in a state where the age of consent is 13 (New Mexico), would this still be a crime?

    Clearly he committed crimes, and will be punished according to the law. But your implication that he deserves a death sentence (as is the case by letting word get out in prison) disgusts me.


The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.