Things are not always as they may seem for St. Louis residents. This can be particularly true when it comes to criminal investigations, as law enforcement may use certain tactics that can confuse and surprise individuals.
When it comes to allegations involving sex crimes, for instance, law enforcement can use deceptive tactics designed to catch individuals. These tactics can take many different forms, including measures targeting online users.
One recent investigation involved a Missouri doctor who was interacting with an undercover officer acting as a single mother with a 4-year-old daughter. The doctor reportedly indicated his interest in minor females under the age of 10, and the undercover officer arranged a meeting with the doctor at a local motel. When the doctor arrived at the arranged meeting, he was arrested and charged with attempted coercion and enticement of a minor for sexual purposes.
In cases involving undercover investigations, it can be important for those charged to get a full understanding of the investigation that resulted in their arrest. The details of the investigation can be used to provide a defense to the charges.
For instance, if law enforcement did not have probable cause to arrest a person based on their investigation, any evidence obtained as a result of that arrest could be suspect. The evidence can be challenged through a pretrial motion, which seeks to prevent the prosecution from introducing the evidence at trial against the defendant. On other occasions, the evidence may be challenged for other reasons, such as where there are weaknesses in the investigation that produced the evidence.
Even if there are no grounds to exclude evidence from trial, individuals can at least follow up with their own investigation. For instance, individuals can have witnesses interviewed again to determine what the witnesses will say at trial and whether any potential favorable evidence can be gathered from those or other witnesses.
Source: Southeast Missourian, "Former Dexter doctor charged with soliciting sex from a child," Noreen Hyslop, Feb. 10, 2015