This issue revolves around the term "knowingly" and what it means in Nevada's Internet Stalking Law. That law makes it a crime to "knowingly" solicit sex with a juvenile over the internet, and investigators have been using it with great success by having undercover officers pose as juveniles on the internet. When someone takes the bait, as they charge 46 year old Jeffrey Thurber did last year....they may arrange to meet a 14 year old girl who turns out to be a police officer. Prosecutors argue that term "knowingly" refers to the potential predators belief that he is soliciting a juvenile.
But In December then Washoe District Judge James Hardesty applied a strict constructionist reading to that term...ruling ...In effect...for Thurber to have been charged the person he was meeting would have to have been...in fact....a 14 year old girl. Judge Peter Breen said to reverse Hardesty's ruling he would have to find his ruling "clearly in error" Something he declined to do.
Defense Attorney, Martin Wiener says it's his job is to make sure the government follows the rules.
The D-A's office may decide to appeal this ruling to the State Supreme Court or they may take this case and others to federal court where statute and case law are apparently clearer. One thing investigators say they won't do is stop using what has been a very successful tactic to snare sexual predators on the internet.