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Catfishing and Internet Crimes

We have the ability to use the internet to create online identities and online relationships. Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to truly know who is on the other end. has defended many clients who were accused of sex crimes or internet crimes for this very reason.

“Over the last few years, things have evolved. There was a movie called ‘Catfish’ and now they have a show on MTV. And what it is, the basic premises is that there’s someone who sets up multiple online identities and they use these identities to develop relationships with multiple people online. And often times I have seen in my practice where people have started what I call a ‘catfish relationship’ and its lead to that person eventually being charged with a sex crime or an internet crime or most often both.

Charged with, for example, online solicitation of a minor and then once they actually meet that person, sometimes things happen between people. Psychologically they’re connected. They’ve connected through hours and hours of chatting or texting, messaging online. People have viewed each other through various video systems, but often times things happened where they don’t really know who’s on the other end and maybe the person they’re sending the photos to or sharing the video with isn’t who they thought they were. And they end up being charged with a crime.”