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Author Topic: Do you have problems with the manner in which he was caught? Entrapment???  (Read 3728 times)

BeerMoney

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Hello all.  This arrest happened at my university.  I'm not sure if you all discuss these sorts of things on here, but perhaps you may find it interesting.  I'm interested in hearing what some of the finest future legal minds think of this case.  Basically, this guy was tricked into thinking he was going to be meeting a 13 y.o. for sex. 

What comes to a lot of people's minds is that it seems like Entrapment.  (We don't know any details beyond this.) There was really no victim of a crime here.  ( I know there doesn't have to be an actual victim, like in a DUI where no one is hurt.)  But he was soliciting to have sex with someone who only claimed to to be a minor.

If any of you find this case interesting, do you think you may be able to discuss it one of your classes, or with a prof. you may be close with?

Thank you very much, here is the news clipping:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following news release was issued today by
S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster.

* Please note that Karim Gulamhusein, is a recent
graduate, not a current graduate assistant.
Clemson University police department has issued a
trespass notice, barring Gulamhusein from campus.


CLEMSON MAN ARRESTED IN INTERNET PREDATOR STING

Columbia - Attorney General Henry McMaster
announced today that Karim Gulamhusein, 41, 202
Edgewood Avenue, Apt. #1, in Clemson, was
arrested on June 9, 2006, in an undercover sting
conducted by the City of Westminster Police
Department.

The Westminster Police Department is a partner in
the Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against
Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Gulamhusein was arrested on charges of Criminal
Solicitation of a Minor ( 16-15-342), a felony
offense punishable to ten (10) years imprisonment
and Attempted Criminal Sexual Conduct With a
Minor ( 16-3-655(B)), a felony offense
punishable to twenty (20) years imprisonment.

Arrest warrants allege that Gulamhusein began
soliciting sex on April 21, 2006, from a person
he believed to be a thirteen (13) year old girl.
In reality, he was seeking sex from a Westminster
Police Officer. Gulamhusein further arranged to
meet the "girl" for sex at an arranged location
in Westminster on June 9. He was arrested upon
his arrival at that location.

Search warrants were executed at both
Gulamhusein's residence and at Clemson
University, where Gulamhusein is a graduate
assistant (*correction: recent graduate). Items
seized in the searches include computers and
computer related equipment.

Gulamhusein is a citizen of Canada, and a native of Uganda.

A bond hearing was held on Saturday, June 10, at
the Oconee County Detention Center. Gulamhusein
was denied bond and remains in custody at the
Oconee County Detention Center.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney
General's Office. McMaster stressed that all
defendants are presumed innocent unless and until
they are proven guilty in a court of law.
--

RootBrewskies

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just like those people on dateline.  i thought about how this could be considered entrapment when i saw the tv special and read this, but guess what....i dont care.  probably anyone in law school or considering law school shouldnt think this way, but the law can be pretty ridiculous, when it protects people who are obviously guilty.  i hope all those people get thrown in jail and never get to deal with kids again. 

hotdiggity

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I don't feel this is entrapment because the person was already predisposed to commit the crime and took overt actions that facilitated the crime. For entrapment to occur you must show that without the police you would have had no predisposition to commit the crime, and but for the actions of the police the crime would not have occured.  This is negated when the person, after already hearing of the "victim" being a minor still attempted to have sexual encounters with her.  The police must entice or entrap an otherwise unwilling party to commit a crime they otherwise would have not commited.  Also worth noting, the burden of proof in any criminal defense will then shift to the defense and must be properly raised and argued by the defendants legal counsel. This person one could argue was trolling the internet for victims and just happened to have bad luck with whom he found.  To be honest I am glad the person was arrested and will be tried, but then again that may be the prosecutor in me. 

J D

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I don't feel this is entrapment because the person was already predisposed to commit the crime and took overt actions that facilitated the crime. For entrapment to occur you must show that without the police you would have had no predisposition to commit the crime, and but for the actions of the police the crime would not have occured.  This is negated when the person, after already hearing of the "victim" being a minor still attempted to have sexual encounters with her.  The police must entice or entrap an otherwise unwilling party to commit a crime they otherwise would have not commited.  Also worth noting, the burden of proof in any criminal defense will then shift to the defense and must be properly raised and argued by the defendants legal counsel. This person one could argue was trolling the internet for victims and just happened to have bad luck with whom he found.  To be honest I am glad the person was arrested and will be tried, but then again that may be the prosecutor in me. 

Correct.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

Jumboshrimps

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I'm currently writing a law review note on this very topic. The entrapment defense has not been the real issue in these cases, for the aforementioned reasons. It becomes an obvious loser when you consider that a jury is often intructed this way:

"The defendant is not guilty of attempted solicitation if a reasonable person in the defendant's position would not have engaged in the conduct in question if not for the police facade."

No jury this side of Neverland would find the actions of these guys to be "reasonable."

The real issue in these cases is the impossibility defense. Only The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri has allowed legal impossibility to result in an acquittal here. (U.S. v. Helder). The distinction between legal and factual impossibility is a muddy one, and while factual impossibility is never a defense, legal impossibility often is. If impossibility is the issue in a case, the issue is really one of sufficiency of evindence, since there is no minor present and the prosecution is simply condemning the defendant based on his state of mind. Again, this "mens rea only" approach has been almost completely successful for prosecutors, both federal and state.

Many states have simply amended their solicitation statutes to say that impossibility is not a valid defense. Congress has not done so with the federal statute.


J D

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I fail to see how this is a legal impossibility in any event.  This scenario is essentially identical to the oft-cited example of shooting at an empty bed thinking that there's a living victim lying in it, when in actuality there's only a mannequin or a bundle of pillows underneath the sheets.  Both scenarios certainly sound like factual impossibility to me, and I'm not sure there is a convincing, principled distinction between the two.

Then again, I'm with those commentators who say the only truly "legal" impossibility is trying to commit an act which in actuality is not a crime, even though the actor believes it is.   ;)
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

reverendlex

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I like to think of these cases as a lump sum payment of stupid tax. I worked on one of these when I summered with the PD. One of the reasons they're so popular with law enforcement is that they're simple and they make their own evidence. A couple pages of chat logs will get you enough PC to subpoena the ISP and get a search warrant, which often turns up kiddie pr0n.

If done right, the entrapment defense goes away, since the defendant usually pursues the target.


Defendants go for the plea since the evidence is so damning. Like the Dateline episode, it's pretty easy work for a bunch of convictions.
The case I worked on, the police got the defendant to initial each page of the logs. On tape. What made it better was that he was ex law enforcement himself. Our major concern was making sure he survived his sentence.

Jumboshrimps

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I fail to see how this is a legal impossibility in any event.  This scenario is essentially identical to the oft-cited example of shooting at an empty bed thinking that there's a living victim lying in it, when in actuality there's only a mannequin or a bundle of pillows underneath the sheets.  Both scenarios certainly sound like factual impossibility to me, and I'm not sure there is a convincing, principled distinction between the two.

Then again, I'm with those commentators who say the only truly "legal" impossibility is trying to commit an act which in actuality is not a crime, even though the actor believes it is.   ;)

This situation is distinguishable from the classic example in that the defendants in these cases haven't even "shot" at the empty bed. While a bullet would injure or kill a person, driving a car to a sting house would not constitute sex.


LawSchoolHopeful2009

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I too watched the dateline series on this and they actually raised the issue of this being seen as entrapment. According to officials dealing with these types of sex crimes, it is not entrapment if during the online conversations the perpetrator is the one that brings up sexual acts- meaning the sexual offender needs to be one who outrightly states something to the effect of "i want to perform some sort of sexual act with you". If you look at transcripts of crimes like these, the undercover agents are NEVER the ones to state that they would like to have sex- they wait for the perpetrator to inititiate the conversation. so with or without this being a sting operation, the guy would've committed this crime regardless and therefore wasn't lured into anything.

J D

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I fail to see how this is a legal impossibility in any event.  This scenario is essentially identical to the oft-cited example of shooting at an empty bed thinking that there's a living victim lying in it, when in actuality there's only a mannequin or a bundle of pillows underneath the sheets.  Both scenarios certainly sound like factual impossibility to me, and I'm not sure there is a convincing, principled distinction between the two.

Then again, I'm with those commentators who say the only truly "legal" impossibility is trying to commit an act which in actuality is not a crime, even though the actor believes it is.   ;)

This situation is distinguishable from the classic example in that the defendants in these cases haven't even "shot" at the empty bed. While a bullet would injure or kill a person, driving a car to a sting house would not constitute sex.



But the crime here is incomplete, or inchoate; we're dealing with attempt, not a completed crime.  What you raise, it would seem, is an issue of how the actus reus of attempt is defined.  If driving to a car after soliciting sex online is sufficient to satisfy the actus reus requirement of attempted sexual battery on a minor (or whatever the specific offense is), it doesn't seem to distinguish it from my example at all: shooting at an empty bed is equally sufficient to satisfy the actus reus requirement of attempted murder.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein