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Name: People v. Federico
Case #: E048833
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/21/2011

An entrapment defense applies only when the conduct of law enforcement or its agent was likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the offense. Perverted Justice is a forum that brings to light the effects of the Internet on children. A volunteer created an Internet profile and posed as Missie, a 12-year-old girl. Appellant responded to her profile and the conversation turned sexual. with appellant webcaming himself in impermissible activities despite the knowledge of Missie’s age. When he later showed up at Missie’s house, the sheriff’s department, having been alerted, arrested him. The appellate court upheld the trial court’s denial of appellant’s request for a jury instruction on entrapment. An entrapment defense is applicable only where the conduct of the law enforcement agent was likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the offense. It is presumed that such a person would normally resist the temptation to commit a crime, presented by the simple opportunity to act unlawfully. Official conduct that does no more than offer that opportunity to the suspect, for example, a decoy program, is therefore permissible. But it is impermissible for the police or their agents to pressure the suspect by overbearing conduct such as badgering, cajoling, importuning, or other affirmative acts likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime. Agreeing with the trial court, the appellate court noted that the evidence produced at trial was insufficient to show that either Perverted Justice or Missie was an agent of law enforcement or acting at the direction of law enforcement. The sheriff’s department was brought into the “sting” only after the Internet activity was completed and it was clear that Perverted Justice would monitor the Internet regardless of any assistance from law enforcement. For the sake of argument, even if Perverted Justice was an agent of law enforcement, there was no evidence of entrapment. Appellant took the initiative to act as he did, behavior in which no normally law-abiding person would involve himself.