News show helps police flush out child molesters

Latvian public television (LTV) investigative news program Aizliegtais paņēmiens (Forbidden methods), working in conjunction with police investigators, helped conduct a joint sting operation targeted at child molesters, snaring five potential violators this weekend, the media reported Monday. All are being held in police custody.

The men who responded to the lure set by the police and media workers are of various ages and status, some being married providers with children of their own, others of them loners. All of them seemed prepared to pursue sexual relations with a boy claiming to be a fifteen-year-old searching for a first-time carnal experience with an adult willing to pay him for it.

The lure was in fact a cooperating eighteen-year-old youth, who was able to set up meetings with the men at a specially prepared apartment he claimed to own. All of the ‘clients’ were unpleasantly surprised by the revelation of the sting operation, after which police detained each of them.

The police have not revealed how they got wind of the Forbidden methods episode under preparation, but apparently their further cooperation with LTV’s investigative news show was not a problem.

Prior to their arrest, some of the men actually shared with the journalists the motivation behind their actions, while others denied ever intending to have sex with the teenager.

They hail from different parts of Latvia, one of them is the father of six, another has work experience as a teacher, another used to work at a children’s home. Only one of them expressed skittish feelings about the proposed intimate act with the underage boy, though all were aware of his self-professed age of fifteen.

All were aware of the law, which prohibits an adult from having sexual relations with a minor under sixteen, providing for punishments including a jail sentence up to five years, monetary fines and mandatory community service. Last year the law was amended to include online fishing through internet correspondence, even if the overture doesn’t lead to an actual act of illicit sex, providing up to a one-year prison term.

Regardless, the men were prepared to break the law despite being aware of the potential trauma upon the child victims’ psyche, which some of them have actually suffered in their own personal lives.

The broadcast of the Aizliegtais paņēmiens episode titled ‘Operation: Pedophile’ is scheduled for Monday night at 19:30 and can be viewed online HERE.

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