…a short take, catching a predator
October 2015 at a house in Fairfield CT a sting operation had been set up by TV newsman Chris Hansen, Fairfield Police and State’s Attorney John Smriga, and had Fairfield University theater students posing as 13-year-old boys and girls. Objective was to catch a pedophile. When the suspects showed up at the house to have sex with these teenagers they were arrested with the incident recorded for a television program.
Charles Lawrence III, was a successful New York accountant and commercial real estate broker. This Friday he is in jail because he claims eye problems caused him to misread a text where he believed he was communicating with an 18 year old boy and was meeting one to have sex with the 18-year-old instead of the 13-year-old boy that purportedly awaited him in a Fairfield home.
Judge Robert Devlin
Charles Lawrence’s lawyer Edward Gavin, told the Judge Robert Devlin – “The text he received had a one and a three which he mistook for a one and an eight,”
Lawrence began communicating with what he though was a 13 year-old boy through the Internet site Grindr.
Lawrence had inquired about the boy’s sexual desires and told him he could be is teacher and suggested he could be his ‘teacher’.
At about 3:45 p.m. on Oct. 3, Smriga said Lawrence arrived at the decoy house and was arrested.
Police searched him and found a bottle of lubricant and a bottle of nail polish remover.
“I am not a pedophile,” “I used poor judgment but I have never seen, used or downloaded child pornography in my life.”
“After he was caught Charles sat down with Fairfield police and told them, “I thought I was going to meet an 18-year-old,” – Charles Lawrence
Judge Devlin said he wasn’t buying the story and has sentenced Lawrence to two years in prison.
“The thing about this case is it has this Shakespearean quality to it or maybe a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde aspect,” “But this whole case is about protecting children. You did a bad thing here.”
Additionally, Lawrence will be on prrobation for eight years after his two years prison sentence. He has also ordered him to register as a sex offender. – Judge Devlin
— Chris Hansen (@chrishansen) August 31, 2016
Lawrence was one of 10 men snagged in a sting last .
Lawrence subsequently pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted sexual assault, attempted risk of injury to a minor and enticing a minor to have an obscene performance.
Gavin told the judge that the irony of the situation is that his client knows Chris Hansen socially, commuted daily on the train with him and was aware of Hansen’s TV program, To Catch a Predator.