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Swift Justice for Sicko Printer —Cagle

October 2007
BITS AND PIECES

EVERY NOW and then I’ll catch a reference to a printer while watching television, which sends me scurrying for pen and paper. But the most recent example of this caught me flat-footed. Fortunately, I was able to rely on the Internet to get the needed info.

The scene was Flagler Beach, FL. A man named Oanh Le, a 39-year-old printer, enters a home. He is immediately taken by the decor and tells his host, a 13-year-old girl, that it resembles a restaurant. She giggles. They make small talk.

Out walks a man named Chris Hansen. He wants to know what Le is doing at the house, talking to a girl he thinks is 13. Le says he came over to talk. After some light cajoling, and unveiling of evidence, Le admits that he had come to the girl’s home, hoping to have sex with her. In fact, Le reportedly had sent the 13-year-old girl (who was really an 18-year-old decoy) pictures of his genitals.

Hansen is not the girl’s father nor police, but a reporter for Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” show, which sets up sting operations to trap adults (thus far all men) who lurk in Internet chat rooms for the purpose of meeting and having sex with minors. To date, the show has snagged upward of 300 would-be child molesters, including teachers and at least one police officer. Virtually all of the perverts declare they’ve never done anything like this before. But it’s sad when you realize at least some of them have probably victimized children in the past.

As for Le, he apologizes and leaves the house, only to be taken away by Flagler Beach Police. At the station, Le laments that he does not have sex with his wife, doesn’t drink, smoke or party. “I...I just go to work,” he stammers.

Le pleaded not guilty to three felony charges, including transmitting harmful materials to a minor.

Obviously, our industry has the same percentage of creepy perverts as the next. But, as tough as our laws are, crimes against children and the elderly are particularly egregious and demand the stiffest punishment.

As a parent, when I pick up my baby boy at night, he lays his head on my shoulder and closes his eyes. Protecting and preserving that natural trust with all three of my children is the greatest obligation in my life. And, preserving the rights and childhoods of minors should be our priority.
 

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