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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana decision today; some links

In U.S. v. Hensley (ND Ind., Judge Simon), a 15-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

Government agents created a fictitious online personality named “Jennifer Sanchez,” who represented herself as a 13-year-old girl. Matthew Hensley, using multiple online personas, attempted to cajole Jennifer into having sex with him. A meeting place was arranged. However, while en route, Hensley noticed law enforcement near the meeting place and left the scene. Officers arrested Hensley the next day. A jury convicted him of attempting to solicit a minor for sex in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). The district court sentenced him to 125 months’ imprisonment. Hensley appeals both his conviction and sentence. We affirm.

The sting that caught Matthew Hensley was part of a wider law-enforcement effort targeting Internet sexual predators. The operation used personnel from several state and federal agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the Secret Service. The plan was to first entice sexual predators over the Internet using agents passing themselves off as minors, and then to nab them when they arrived at Will Park in Valparaiso, the spot where the fictitious minors would tell the perpetrators to meet them for the trysts. The takedowns— approximately ten to twelve of them—were all scheduled to occur on the same day, August 18, 2006, and involved well over 100 law enforcement officers. ICE agents Demetrius Flowers and Melissa Chan participated in the operation. They posed as a thirteen-yearold girl named “Jennifer Sanchez” and created an online Yahoo profile for her with the screen name jen_indy_13 (hereinafter “Jen”). Beginning August 7, 2006, Agent Flowers, under the guise of that screen name, visited the Indiana section of several Yahoo chat rooms.

See also these ILB entries:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 23, 2009 12:41 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions