That's a very interesting question about the difference between a "sting" and "entrapment." The way I see it, if police simply keep someone under observation and then surprise him or her in the act of committing a crime, that's a sting, but if they engineer a crime themselves by setting up a specific situation that would not have happened without their involvement in order to get someone, that's entrapment.
Perhaps a jury would see what happened to me as entrapment -- I certainly feel it was -- but there's probably some statute that lets the police do what they did under the apparent color of law.
Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>
I am glad you are safely back. It would be interesting to come up
with an estimate of how much taxpayer money was spent on the sting,
and ask the public whether such funds could be applied to more
BTW, what is the difference between a sting (apparently lawful) and
entrapment (apparently unlawful). Any way you could turn the tables
on the cops (i.e., on Kamala)?
--- In email@example.com, Starchild <sfdreamer@e...>
> Yes, I'm back from the dismal dungeons of the state! Thank
> everyone, for your concern, and especially for those who tried to
> phone calls, etc. David and Chris in particular for serving as
> information conduits and accepting my collect call.
> This was, as some of you have heard, a police sting operation
> off of Craigslist. A young-sounding woman called me and said she
> her girlfriend wanted to see me that night. A call to see two girls
> unusual, and maybe that should have made me suspicious. But she was
> good actress/scam artist.
> Anyway, I was charged with "soliciting prostitution" and have
> date in Fremont on January 6. I didn't specifically mention those
> details when calling from jail except during one call to a friend,
> there were other inmates present at other times. Being unsure how
> or in what conditions I might be held, I wasn't going to advertise
> fact of my profession. Not that I ever felt in any physical danger
> anyone; none of the inmates I was exposed to seemed like
> violent/aggressive gang-banger types.
> There was one disturbing comment from a smug Fremont PD
> (possibly named Carpenter?) when I was being booked, however. He
> offense at my refusal to believe his assertion that since I'd
> been read my rights and declined the opportunity to talk, nothing I
> said now during booking would be used against me (yeah, sure!).
> likely they *were* just trying to get their form filled out in this
> case, but I wasn't feeling very trusting. On the offhand chance it
> might have bearing on my case, I declined to go into details about
> medical conditions I might or might not have beyond saying I didn't
> anticipate any medical problems during my stay and didn't have
> or other serious conditions that were named. Naturally this held up
> process, and officer Carpenter(?) became irate and threatened to
> me to a state jail where I'd be housed in the general population
> rapists and other violent criminals. He said they might find me
> "pretty," and asked, "Do you get the picture?" I said it sounded
> he was threatening my life. (Over not filling out a form, I should
> added.) Fortunately the booking officer intervened and let me
> the questions in a general enough way that I was able to give him
> amount of info he wanted.
> The night of my arrival at Fremont City Jail, I noticed that
> of the property receipt form I was given listed seven prisoner
> including #4 "the right to postal correspondence, restricted only
> the facility's need to ensure the safety and security of staff and
> prisoners, in accordance with State law." (Right #1, incidentally,
> included "protection from physical and verbal abuse," which might
> at odds with the previously mentioned transfer threat.)
> when I asked for materials to write a letter I was told that I
> not be allowed to use *any* writing implement while I was there,
> that could be used as a weapon. But the following day brought
> personnel and a different answer, and I was allowed to sit in a
> room in their immediate sight and use a short, dull pencil. I was
> one piece of paper, but generously told I could ask for more if I
> filled that one up. This was in order not to waste paper, they
> Meanwhile, bright florescent lights were blazing away in a score of
> unoccupied cells, something I pointed out to no avail (naturally).
> Anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Fremont paper
> (that being the only newspaper available and so the only media
> I had access to) about my arrest. I asked for and was eventually
> a photocopy of this letter, partly as I wished to be able to
> the info to additional letters if I had a chance to do more
> but they wouldn't let me keep those two sheets of paper on me.
> Evidently the 8.5" by 11" carbon-copied property receipt form was
> for me to have, but the blank white photocopied paper they had
> was too dangerous. So that went into a plastic bag along with my
> property to be given to me on my release. I found out later that
> whether by negligence or design, they had only copied one side of
> of my double-sided handwritten sheets, so about half of the
> letter is rewritten from memory:
> * * *
> December 7, 2005
> I am writing to you from the Fremont City Jail, where I have
> since last night when I was arrested -- I believe on a prostitution
> charge, although I was never actually told the cause of my arrest
> what I was being charged with.
> The arrest took place around 10:20 p.m. at the Best Western
> Court Inn, at 5400 Mowry Avenue. I am an escort based in San
> During the time I have practiced this profession, I have never come
> Fremont to see a client in my memory, and I would not have been
> last night if I had not been solicited to come by a police sting
> Yesterday morning I was contacted by a policewoman posing as
> who told me that she and her girlfriend (she gave the names "Sara"
> "Tiffany") wanted to see me that night. She said she was attracted
> what I said in my ad about being "romantic." Shortly after I
> and was welcomed into their room at the Garden Court Inn, six men
> into the room. One of them had a big police dog, and another had a
> video camera. The two female officers, who had been drinking beer
> they invited me in, immediately got up and left. The intruders
> identified themselves as Fremont police. A couple of them started
> searching me and going through my things, while another asked me
> questions, including whether various things belonged to me, all
> I was arrested or read my rights.
> Meanwhile the guy with the video camera was pointing it in my
> When I asked him who he was filming for, he said KRON TV Channel 4.
> told him I didn't want to be vilified, and asked him to take one of
> business cards and contact me later to get my side of the story.
> refused, saying "I'm here working with these guys," or words to
> Is this kind of refusal to even attempt to report the news in
> and balanced manner appropriate conduct by a member of the
> media? I have often seen TV footage of people being arrested and
> portrayed as unsympathetic criminals, and wondered, "Why do we
> see these men and women telling their side of what happened?" Now I
> know the answer may well be, "Because they are not given the
> opportunity to do so."
> But there is something here that people, especially Fremont
> should be even more concerned about, and that is misplaced
> and waste of law enforcement resources. How many hours of police
> went into finding and selecting my online post, contacting me,
> exchanging telephone messages, having seven police officers waiting
> around at the hotel for me to show up, taking me to jail and
> Is there so little actual crime being committed by people
> Fremont -- rapes, murders, robberies, and the like -- that the
> Police have to resort to luring and entrapping people from out of
> for allegedly planning to participate in peaceful transactions
> consenting adults, in order to justify their salaries and funding?
> 3531 16th Street,
> San Francisco, CA 94114
> P.S. to the Editor - Starchild is my full legal name. My identity
> be confirmed and additional information obtained from my colleagues
> the Libertarian Party of San Francisco (www.lpsf.org) and the Sex
> Workers Outreach Project (www.swop-usa.org).
> * * *
> It will be interesting to contact the Argus in a few days and
> whether they actually received this letter, or it somehow
got "lost" in
> the mail. Meanwhile, I'm going to rewrite it slightly to send out
> other media outlets. I think one of the things which kind of got
> in the game of telephone from me to my friend David to Chris who
> emailed some local Libertarians for me, is that I was hoping other
> folks would spread this story to their media contacts too. If you'd
> like to help, I still encourage you to do that. I don't think I
> much to lose here by going as public with all of this as possible.
> also a good chance to shine a little light on what goes on and help
> humanize some of those who are persecuted by the authorities for
> prostitution and other victimless "crimes."
> I'm also still interested in any referrals for an attorney.
> reminded me, Robyn Few knows somebody who takes cases like this,
> more leads can't hurt. Of course as Richard Winger says, maybe I'll
> a good public defender. It's been known to happen, although I think
> chances would be better if it was here in SF under Jeff Adachi's
> office. Does anyone know what the rules are for the filing of
> additional charges? I am somewhat concerned I may be at risk for
> although the only thing they listed was soliciting prostitution.
> To continue with the rest of the story, after staying
overnight at the
> Fremont Jail, they drove me yesterday to Santa Rita, where I was
> shuttled between several different rooms for no apparent good
> At least they let us wear our shoes, so my feet were not
> cold in socks on the bare floors there as they had been at Fremont
> before I was eventually taken to a cell with a cot and given a
> But they made us remove and hand over our shoelaces, so I had to
> checking a natural urge to tie my shoes which always felt ready to
> off. The biggest chunk of the day was spent in the most crowded
> my stay. Myself and five other guys were locked in a bare room
> by 10' with concrete benches, a toilet, and a sink. There was not
> space on the bench, so about half of us were sitting or lying down
> the cold, dirty floor at any one time. Fortunately no one had to
> the indignity and subject the rest of us to the sight and sounds of
> having to heed a serious call of nature! There was also a collect-
> phone in the room. Using their phones however was about as awkward
> trying to open doors with your elbow. At Fremont there is one with
> cord only about 10 inches long, which is mounted about four feet
> the floor, so as a 6' tall person I could neither stand nor sit in
> order to use it comfortably, but had to kind of crouch or lean
> the wall. But it was better than the ones in Santa Rita, which are
> only mounted at an inconvenient height (at least for me), but have
> receivers at all, only holes in the wall to speak and listen into.
> you have to converse with your head pressed up against the wall.
> By and by I was cited and released, with a paper advising me
> appear in court. I see no reason why they couldn't have done this
> as easily when they first took me in, and let me go that same
> but I guess that wouldn't have been slow enough for the "justice"
> system. And of course they had left my backpack, along with much of
> contents of my pockets including my phone, money clip and house
> at the Fremont jail instead of sending the stuff with me to Santa
> I had exactly $.30 on me, not even enough for a phone call. They
> released persons a local bus ticket and a $3.65 BART card. However
> buses weren't running at that time (it was about 10pm) and there
> even enough money on the BART ticket to get me across the bay.
> Furthermore, nobody at Santa Rita seemed to have the phone number
> the Fremont jail or know whether I could go there and get my stuff.
> I just took the train to Civic Center BART and exited through the
> service door with insufficient fare. It's ironic how they
> more laws being broken by leaving people in situations where they
> little choice!
> Which reminds me of another darkly humorous thing that
> I'd gotten into the back of the cop car to be driven to Santa Rita,
> cop strapped the seatbelts on me and another guy being taken there
> (it's hard to do yourself when you're wearing handcuffs). As he did
> mine, he said to me sarcastically (having heard me complaining the
> night before about arresting people for victimless crimes), "I
> this is just another one of those silly laws you have to
> didn't have a seatbelt on when I was taken here last night," I
> responded as he closed the door. He said nothing, and when he got
> the front to drive, I said, "I guess even cops can't be bothered to
> follow the law all the time, huh?" And he shot back, "I guess we
> can't." Score one for the truth!
> Fortunately when I got home my roommate was there, so I was
> get in and finally eat a real meal. I'd only had a couple oranges,
> few slices of bread and some carrots all day, thanks to dinner not
> being available at Santa Rita except in the housing area and not
> been informed of breakfast in the morning at the Fremont jail ("You
> missed it. Complain to the supervisor," I was told when I inquired
> toward lunch time). This despite #3 in their list of rights which
> states that prisoners "will receive adequate nourishment three
> day, in accordance with standards established by the State of
> Still, I'm not *really* complaining. All this was pretty mild
> to many peoples' jail experiences. With the semi-exception of the
> officer's threat, I did not feel in any physical danger during my
> incarceration. What mildly inhumane treatment there was seemed to
> more a consequence of the institution and its rules and procedures
> from sadism or malice by particular individuals. Most of the law
> enforcement personnel acted fairly professional, though there did
> to be a common attitude that affording normal human dignity to
> in custody wasn't really necessary, just as a benevolent master
> be decent to the slaves on his plantation most of the time, but
> really feel he owed them any respect.
> Aside from the bogus nature of the alleged "crime," that was
> that bothered me most about this whole ordeal: All these people who
> been picked up on whatever charges just being processed and treated
> like criminals. The treatment I saw and experienced might not
> have been out of place if applied to persons charged and convicted
> real crimes, at least if you accept the view that incarceration
> be primarily about deterrent/punishment rather than rehabilitation
> providing restitution to victims. But accused persons are supposed
> be innocent until proven guilty, and I felt I'd been treated like a
> criminal almost the entire time. I mentioned this to the clerk
> out the transportation tickets on the way out, and she said I was
> second person who'd said that to her that day. It's nice to know
> at least one other person had a similar reaction and wasn't afraid
> voice it. Incidentally, I was amused when she handed me a pair of
> scissors to cut the plastic wristband off my arm. Who was I to be
> suddenly trusted with a dangerous weapon like scissors when before
> couldn't even have my shoelaces, earrings, or a pen?
> Well, that's about all I can think of to say right now. It's
> the morning, but at least I did get plenty of sleep at the jails,
> there was often little to do but nap and wait. I certainly didn't
> the experience, but I figured it would happen to me sooner or
> And it was interesting to get a short inside look at the prison
> It definitely gives one more sympathy for the plight of the
> people who are wrongly incarcerated in the United States alone. Too
> often they're out of sight, out of mind, even for libertarians like
> myself who should already know better.
> Peace, love & liberty,
> <<< Starchild >>>
> > I'm on the phone with Starchild right now; he was released from
> > Rita
> > tonight and is back home.
> > He'll probably post more information later.
> > ~Chris
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