January 14, 2013
Annals of Crime: The Science of Sex Abuse
"Is it right to imprison people for heinous crimes they have not yet committed?
With civil commitment, child-pornography offenders can be imprisoned indefinitely, lest they molest children when released.
On a Saturday night in the summer of 1998, an undercover officer logged in to a child-pornography chat room using the screen name Indy-Girl. Within minutes, a user named John introduced himself and asked her, Are you into real life or just fantasy?” Indy-Girl said that because of the “legality of it” she had never acted on her fantasies. But she soon revealed an adventurous spirit. She was a bisexual college sophomore, she said, and had learned about sex at an early age. “My mother is very European,” she explained."
"They decided to meet at a park in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where they could have a picnic or go boating on the lake. Two weeks after their first conversation, John drove three hours to the appointed meeting spot. He brought lacy undergarments in his briefcase. The Military Police Investigations unit, working with the F.B.I., had recruited two young officers to play the roles of the two sisters. They arrived early, spread a blanket on the grass, and waved at John, who was sitting at a picnic table, writing in his journal."