Ha ha.
August 10, 2000 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Ha ha.
posted by evilmaryellen (15 comments total)

What's funny? The guy plead guilty to crossing state lines to have sex with a minor and will serve no jail time. Sure seems like he had the last laugh.
posted by rcade at 9:45 AM on August 10, 2000

It's actually extremely difficult to get jail time when:
a) there was no minor,
b) there was no sexual assault,
c) there was no proof that b) would have occurred had a) been untrue.

In general, these stings do NOT result in jail time for precisely that reason. But in general, these stings DO result in heavy media attention (sometimes they even invite the local news media). They result in unemployment, divorce, and general public humiliation. Which is why law enforcement loves them: they serve as a deterrent.
posted by dhartung at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2000

I spent a short period of time at Go, and I can assure you that Naughton isn't laughing. He was a very high-ranking exec in the organization, and stood a better-than-even chance of eventually ending up at least a VP at Disney proper. Tons of money and power and social status, all gone, for good. To say nothing of the effect this fall from grace has had on his ego, which was beyond massive; he was the kind of guy that fully knew his place in society and fully enjoyed rubbing everyone else's noses in it. Now he's pegged a child molester for life. Serial killers enjoy more popularity. You can't fall much lower than that.

His probable legitimate threat to underage girls notwithstanding, this was definitely entrapment. I wonder how long the Supreme Court will allow this sort of thing to go on.
posted by aaron at 10:15 AM on August 10, 2000


Reading the FBI affidavit, it sounds like agents were just trolling the "daddy-daughter" chat boards and happened up Naughton by accident. Was he forced into those chat rooms? Did the FBI seek him out for a reason? Is there something I'm missing here?

If there's evidence for entrapment, I'm not seeing it. Why didn't they bring this up at the trial?
posted by mathowie at 11:02 AM on August 10, 2000

From the affidavit (and he's not getting jail time for saying all this stuff to someone he thought was a 13 year old?) :

7. During the conversation, hotseattle said that he was interested in meeting in Los Angeles ``sometime'' to ``kiss, make out, and play and stuff.'' He also said that he would ``lick and suck you all over.'' He said that he was ``totally'' for real and that he was not just engaging in fantasy behavior.

8. Hotseattle said that he was chatting from his office. I again told hotseattle that I was 13, and hotseattle said that he was going to be very careful since he could go to jail. I told hotseattle we could forget meeting if he was worried about going to jail, but he said that he could not get in trouble unless I told someone what had happened.

9. Hotseattle said that he wanted to get naked and ``explore.'' He said that he liked the fact that I had no sexual experience. He again said that he meant everything that he was saying and that none of what he was saying was simply fantasy. Hotseattle said ``I don't do this for fantasy.''
posted by mathowie at 11:06 AM on August 10, 2000

If this guy went to jail, I don't think he would fare too well, as criminal's warped sense of morality makes them feel that raping a woman is ok, but not a child. Even though this wouldn't be rape, (excluding statiotary [sp]), it was certainly a case of leading "her" into something she did not know too much about, and something she was possibly curious about.

I am glad that he has lost all respect, money, and his wife, he deserves that, but unfortunately, all this case, such a high-exposure case anyways, does is show others like him how to be more careful. Other pedophiles will look at this and see where they must go about things differently.

Of course, though, this guy would not have lost his job and everything else if it was kept out of the spotlight, so that idea is not very viable, but I am sure that you see what I am getting at, and how other's will have a better chance of eluding entrapment.
posted by JackthaStripper at 1:10 PM on August 10, 2000

all those disney f*cks are pedos
posted by matucana at 1:42 PM on August 10, 2000

I was going to jump down aaron's throat on his entrapment claim, but the mathowie did the jumping for me. Mathowie's my heeeeeroooooo.....
posted by delfuego at 1:58 PM on August 10, 2000

The guy had child pornography on his computer and he traveled out of state to meet an under-age girl he corresponded with in a chatroom. Does anyone actually believe that it was a fantasy for him and not a real attempt to molest a child?

As for this being entrapment, law enforcement pretends to be hookers, drug dealers, hit men and all kinds of other people. Why shouldn't they pose as 13-year-old girls? Does it make more sense for the FBI to know people like Naughton are trolling chat rooms and do nothing about it, waiting for real children to be victimized?
posted by rcade at 6:52 PM on August 10, 2000

exactly. real children.

I'm not thrilled about the idea of the government regulating online interaction, but I'm much less thrilled about the idea that naughton could have been talking to an actual thirteen year old instead of an fbi agent.

bizarre that the government does something really right by random coincidence, isn't it? (whether or not the sentencing was fair, his being apprehended at all is a good thing.)
posted by rabi at 8:16 PM on August 10, 2000

No, my point is it keeps them from getting convicted because it introduces a lot of the sorts of issues that defense lawyers love. Issues such as, say...

>>Does anyone actually believe that it was a fantasy for him and not a real attempt to molest a child?<<

A lot of the jurors in his first trial did, or at least seriously considered the possibility; that's one of the reasons it ended in a hung jury.

There's also the big, big problem that there was no 13-year-old girl. The cop sometimes typed in a way that seemed a bit sophisticated for a 13-year-old; the defense jumped all over that as "proof" Naughton thought he was merely acting out a fantasy with an adult. And as dhartung noted above, there was no attempt at sexual assault, no attempt to even wait for him to make any sort of move on the cop on the pier. All he did was introduce himself and say "meet me down there." Then they pounced. And his lawyers built up "reasonable doubt" because of all this.

The difference between this and hookers, drug dealers, hit men, etc is that in all those cases, the cops wait until the perp has done something that, to him, is unquestioningly an illegal act. Guys don't get arrested for soliciting a "hooker" until he's asked for a sex act and handed over cash. With a "drug dealer" he's got to hand over the cash, and is usually presented with actual drugs. Ditto with the "hit man." There's no space for "reasonable doubt." But in this sort of situation, you need to be able to show, without any room for misinterpretation, that the person believes 100% that the person he's meeting is under 16. With Naughton, the FBI agent's adultish typing and the planting of a woman who was not a 13-year-old, left it reeking of entrapment to jurors. (After all, short 30-year-old women sometimes wear backpacks and dress cutesy too. How can you be so sure Naughton didn't recognize her as a 30-year-old women who was herself acting out a sexual fantasy about being an underaged girl, ladies and gentlemen of the jury?)

The solution is rather simple, I think: use real 13-year-old girls. The chatroom stuff could easily be handled by whipping up some cheesy Turing bot that uses snippets of conversation taken from/based upon real teen chatrooms (maybe that's just one of the sorts of programs Naughton whipped up to get some clemency). And as for the real-life meeting, well, cops use underage kids all the time to go buy cigarettes and beer; why not pay a girl to stand by a pier for a half-hour? He'd never have had the chance to say or do anything to her before getting bagged, so the girl wouldn't be under any real threat, and they'd have a much more airtight case.
posted by aaron at 8:43 PM on August 10, 2000

The solution is rather simple, I think: use real 13-year-old girls ... cops use underage kids all the time to go buy cigarettes and beer; why not pay a girl to stand by a pier for a half-hour.

That's simply nuts. No community would support the police using a teen-age girl as bait for a sexual predator. It could go wrong in a hundred different ways.

I don't believe it for a moment, but let's assume Naughton only began pursuing his anonymous female chat partner because he thought she was an adult pretending to be a 13-year-old child. That's still repugnant behavior, and anyone who would pursue that kind of fictitious relationships with complete strangers online is working the nerve up to molest a real child.
posted by rcade at 11:54 PM on August 10, 2000

My question is this:

Given the sorry state of authentication on today's internet, what evidence was presented to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that the person being talked to was actually Naughton? Did they break in to his office, and chat with each other while he was in mid conversation?
posted by baylink at 7:35 AM on August 11, 2000

Actually, rcade, there have been many law-enforcement operations like this where a "real" teenager was involved. This includes:
* parents reporting to the police something involving their child, and a policeman monitoring future conversation, sometimes logging in from police facilities
* parents actually "taking over" for their children in the chatroom
* police setting up a situation with a chatter, who promises to send porn (even adult porn), whereupon a minor is made available to log on to the same account and thereby "receive" the porn

Some of this is legally dicey, but it certainly happens. And as far as "entrapment" goes, judges have consistently ruled that entrapment isn't about how much time or effort you put into the relationship (here, more than a year, IIRC), but about whether the accused was independently expressive of a desire to commit the act. There HAVE been cases, including one that went to the Supreme Court, where law enforcement pressured someone into a crime (here, buying child porn) after repeated assertions of non-interest. That's the key, really; the person who chats with an agent and says "don't send me that", "I'm not interested", etc. will be able to support an entrapment defense.

baylink, they had full cooperation in the investigation from Disney. The jerk logged onto chatrooms from his laptop in his office. Stupid stupid stupid. They can easily prove that it was Naughton they were talking to simply because he was the one who showed up at the pier. Worse, when he was arrested, he told the cops there was child porn on the laptop. Probably got him better treatment by being cooperative, but it ended up being the most serious charge he faced.
posted by dhartung at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2000

Is anyone surprised that a Disney exec wants to have sex with young teenage girls? Isn't this the network that broadcasts Britney Spears? Aren't her schoolgirl outfits a direct attempt at marketing to that type of pervert? Statutory rape is becoming our national pastime, or at least our national fantasy.

posted by dagnyscott at 12:21 PM on August 11, 2000

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