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Palm Springs police entrapment victims choose not to plead guilty

Timothy Kincaid

January 21st, 2011

The victims of a police sting involving homophobic slurs and entrapment techniques have rejected an offer by the Riverside County District Attorney (Desert Sun)

During Thursday’s hearing, the district attorney’s office proposed a plea agreement that would have dropped the lifetime sex offender registration requirement if the defendants pleaded guilty.

They opted, instead, to move forward with their motion to dismiss the charges.

Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Earl Lee Roberts called the defense decision “ironic.”

“They’ve been screaming about (being listed as sex offenders) all along, and now we’ve offered to settle this for less than sexual registration and they want to keep going. I think that’s kind of ironic,” Roberts said.

I guess Roberts thinks that the “filthy mother-f*ckers” should be delighted that they will only have to pay a fine and have a crime on their record. But instead they are rejecting the DA’s position that “the Palm Springs Police Department did nothing wrong” when they set about to entrap gay men and wink at heterosexuals for the same conduct.

Roberts is vowing to make a show pony out of the case, bringing in witnesses to, undoubtedly, argue how disgusting the gays are. To me, this seems like a foolish plan. The judge is already troubled by the Police Chief’s homophobic comments, and isn’t likely to be amused by such efforts.

Perhaps it’s time for newly elected DA Zellerbach to step in. If this situation goes much further in this direction, he may find himself the target of an angry citizenry.

Comments

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David Roberts
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

Are you telling me that minor crap like this exposes one to lifetime sexual offender registration??? Am I correct that this is a case of adults hooking up with adults in some park or whatever? I thought that registry was reserved for those who are either guilty of sexual activity with a minor or rape, etc. — something where the public might be in serious danger even after their sentence is completed.

This system is seriously flawed.

jimc
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

Sadly, the list of what can land you on a sex offender registry has grown greatly over the years. In some locales public urination or indecent exposure is enough. One sixteen year-old girl was added for having sex with her two-months younger but still fifteen year-old boyfriend. Other teens have been added for “sexting,” i.e. producing and distributing child pornography.

Reforming the system is difficult at best. Being “tough on crime” is useful political rhetoric, but God help the politician who wants to go easy on the disgusting sex offenders who are preying on our children. The lack of any children or the only participants being children rarely cuts through the outrage.

Priya Lynn
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

David, sex offender registries are abused quite a bit. People who’ve been convicted of urinating in public have to register as sex offenders, as do people who have “mooned” someone, gone streaking, or teenagers who’ve used a phone to send naked pictures of themselves to a teenage boyfriend or girlfriend. When people think of registered sex offenders, that’s probably not the type of person they think of, nor should it be. Sex offender registries should be reserved for people who’ve committed serious crimes like rape, child molestation and pornography, sexual assault, etc. but unfortunately they are not.

Priya Lynn
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

I see JimC beat me to it…

TonyJazz
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

At least the Tea Partiers are sometimes right: silly laws (like public nudity, or urination, or flirting) being a sex offense should be repealed.

I’m looking forward to their effort to reduce this ridiculous intrusion into people’s lives. (yes, that was written sarcastically)

Donny D.
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

California’s sex offender law long predates the relatively recent blush of public concern about serial rapists and child molesters released from prison. Historically, California law enforcement, especially the most gay-hating parts of it (notoriously including the LAPD) have used the registered sex offenders law against adult gay men for having or attempting to have consensual sex with one another. I don’t think this was abuse of the law. I think we were one of the types of people it was originally intended to be used against. I was reading about the law’s use against gay men long before I’d ever heard of it being used against real sexual predators.

Rossi
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

I hate when someone frames a story without full context here, and I think that’s what you’re doing.

Chief Dominguez, the guy who made the “filthy motherf*ckers” comment, retired–he was about to be forced out. You don’t mention this.

The question I’d ask is were the police doing something illegal? You know Warm Sands, it’s pretty, well, filthy, in the minds of a lot of people (especially the folks who live there and pay taxes to do so).

I don’t endorse entrapment. And if it’s a case where it was shown that the police handled offenders any differently than they would any other sex-in-the-bushes perp, then it ought to be prosecuted, and you ought to scream about it.

But I think the city, if it’s within the law and without abuse of power or brutality, they have an obligation to uphold their ordinances. The ordinances may not always be gay-friendly. So don’t break em.

And if the area is common for public sex (trust me, it is), and if that’s illegal (it is), and residents complain loudly and deserve the right to a used condom-free lawn (they do), then I have a hard time reading this article and feel like you’re doing anything beyond endorsing something that any community has the right to either refuse and prosecute or refuse TO prosecute. If it’s a case where they approached it with a sledgehammer rather than a scalpel (to my understanding there have been multiple attempts at tamping down the public sex), then people have a right to be pissed.

AS it seems to me, though I think it’s horrendously one-sided to present this as some egregious abuse of rights here, at least without a full vetting of the facts. Especially when there were clearly people participating in something that is not only rampant but also illegal (and pretty f*cking disrespectful).

Again, would you give two sh!ts if they were straight people being arrested? Doubt it. Let equality rule, even if sometimes it does cut both ways.

Priya Lynn
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

Tony said “At least the Tea Partiers are sometimes right: silly laws (like public nudity, or urination, or flirting) being a sex offense should be repealed.”.

Since when have the Tea Partiers advocated that?

Rossi said “if the area is common for public sex (trust me, it is), and if that’s illegal (it is), and residents complain loudly and deserve the right to a used condom-free lawn (they do), then I have a hard time reading this article and feel like you’re doing anything beyond endorsing something that any community has the right to either refuse and prosecute or refuse TO prosecute…Again, would you give two shits if they were straight people being arrested? Doubt it. Let equality rule, even if sometimes it does cut both ways.”.

Rossi, there were no complaints about gay men having public sex. During the previous two years, only two indecent exposure cases involving gay men had been reported (in a city that is half gay), while ten complaints involved men exposing themselves to women. Given that the city is half gay it is not equality to go after the smaller gay problem and leave the larger heterosexual problem alone.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/01/12/29360#comments

TonyJazz
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

Sorry, Priya, but I guess I wasn’t very clear. As you know, Tea Partiers favor reduced government and reduced intervention in people’s lives.

But the point is that they pick & choose which things they consider intrusions.

…and gay people and our concerns never seem to be on that list. (gay marriage, for example?)

Penguinsaur
January 21st, 2011 | LINK

But the point is that they pick & choose which things they consider intrusions.

I’ve yet to meet a person complaining about the evil intrusive government who was remotely consistent about it. When you get down to specifics it always becomes obvious that what the person opposes is the government intruding on THEIR lives, when it’s other people’s lives they have no problem with it.

joe kort
January 22nd, 2011 | LINK

I like hearing that at least a group of gay men are fighting back on this issue. It is time to fight this and stop it. It happens here in Detroit and I can’t tell you how many clients I get who tell me the exact story repeatedly how they were set up by the police. Ridiculous!

Timothy Kincaid
January 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Rossi,

If you read the previous commentaries (the green bolded words link to these commentaries), you’ll find the “full context.”

Troy
January 24th, 2011 | LINK

Can we please continue to call them teabaggers? Please?

Timothy Kincaid
January 24th, 2011 | LINK

Troy,

Far too often in our culture we use slurs instead of argument. The idea is that if we can throw contempt and derision at someone then we don’t need to consider what they are saying.

It is an extremely foolish was of thinking and behaving.

So, no, we won’t “continue to call them teabaggers.” Unless, of course, we are unable to counter their ideas and wish to indicate that we have run out of thought and now are reverting to slurs.

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