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Harry McMillan had been in his second year of law school at Southern Illinois University when posted the ad in question on Craigslist.
An undercover officer answered and arranged a meeting at a movie theater with someone he said was his daughter.
McMillan arrived at the theater to meet the undercover officer and "the daughter," played by a female worker in a state agency.
When the woman went to the rest room, McMillan asked for the nude pictures of her that he had requested. The officer handed him an envelope and McMillan was arrested when he attempted to open it.
Source: Courthouse News
At trial, McMillan claimed he had posted the ad to lure a child molester whom he could confront. McMillan claimed that he himself was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and wanted to ask the molester questions pertinent to his own experience.
McMillan's claims didn't persuade the jury, which convicted him after a three-day trial.
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
I suppose it is telling and a sign of either his bad luck or how well covered the cops now have this that the two contacts they knew he'd tried to make were both undercover cops.
I guess he was too stupid to stay free, whether he meant this or not. Just didn't have the sense God gave a goose.
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
He is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, which seemed to have occurred. What confuses me about this is the fact he is a law student. As such he should know lawyers do not get special exemptions when they engage in a law enforcement function. They are not empowered, and as such, it can blow up in their faces, as it apparently did here.
The argument he made is one of the reasons why the laws in this area require certain actions in order to violate the law. Its like solicitation, the act of asking for sex is one thing, however when followed up with the act of agreeing on payment, you just went over the line (don't get me started on victimless crimes, this is an example).
If he wanted to confront, then he should have done so once he made contact and gone from there. It might have worked out better in his favor. The manner he chose screwed him pretty good, especially with his legal profession studies.
As for Dateline they have had some issues in the past in various states, specifically the manner in which they have set up the meets. I know a few PA/DA have refused to file charges because of the conversations themselves. It moves from solicitation of a minor to entrapment / coercion when the conversation is stopped by the "suspect" only for the "child" to reinitiate contact and push for a meet (forcing a person to take an action they normally would not have otherwise taken).
This is one of those areas where you make sure all the T's are crossed and all the lower case j's are dotted. Case law being made by law enforcement in this area can have a devastating affect on any future laws / prosecutions.
And even hypothetically speaking ....if he was just trying to meet with a sex offender and do his own research....what a stupid move...and ...can you imagine having someone like that representing you?