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To Catch A Predator -- Lights, Camera, Entrapment?

8/8/2007 5:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A high-powered celebrity lawyer representing a doctor accused of being a sexual predator went after "Dateline NBC" yesterday in a California courtroom.


Blair Berk, whose clients include Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson and Halle Berry, is currently representing Dr. Maurice Wolin, a prominent oncologist. The doctor was taken down by cops last year as "Dateline" cameras rolled. Prosecutors say Dr. Wolin made plans to have a sexual encounter with someone on the Internet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. In fact, the person who was IMing Dr. Wolin was self-proclaimed "evil vigilante" Xavier Von Erck, founder of Perverted Justice.

In yesterday's preliminary hearing in Santa Rosa California, Berk grilled a cop whose department worked with Perverted Justice and "Dateline." Berk maintained that Perverted Justice got money for snagging alleged predators and therefore entrapped her client to make a buck. She claimed Perverted Justice illegally recorded conversations with her client and also said the chat logs could not be authenticated. The logs have not been admitted into evidence.

The cop who testified yesterday called the chat logs "extensive" and "extremely incriminating." In one exchange, the doctor allegedly asked to come over to her house, but added, "But you're under 18 and I'm over. We would have to be soo careful."

NBC rented the house that was used for the doctor's alleged sexual liaison.


Xavier Von Erck will testify when the prelim resumes next month. The judge will then decide whether to admit the critical logs into evidence and then determine if Dr. Wolin will stand trial.

697 COMMENTS

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31.

why not    

think of it this way, if it was your daughter or neice or next door neighbor...no matter how "close" to entrapment it was...dateline didnt go pick up the good doc and drop him off. He came of his own free will...but actually....its probably his mother's fault...she probably didnt read to him when he was a child....

2541 days ago
32.

Yuck    

Uh #18 have you ever watched this show???

There are men who are, white,black,mexican,men from India, oriental
Every race has been there.

So why do you say the white people, cause it's a white person who hired a lawyer?????

Believe me I'm not on the perverts side at all I support the Dateline show, but if you don't have a clue don't comment.............

being a pervert isn't a "White Persons" disorder!!!!

2541 days ago
33.

wordologist    

He is a educated sicko and whack job. Ques; Why is he trying to get out of the situation if his intentions were honorable?Answ: He woulldn't have been in the situation in the first place if he was honorable. Lock him up and forget to feed him. Let the people in jail illustrate graphically what they think of and how they treat child molesters. Wifey divorce him and get you kids as far away from him as possible. If you are having thoughts and chatting on line to underage girls you are a sicko go get help.

2541 days ago
34.

Ruben    

"Entrapment"... are they kidding? The friggin' perv showed up at the house intending to have relations with a kid. Of course, he didn't, but isn't the law a solicitation issue? I say, "Weed 'em all out!" The death penalty or life imprisonment would be fine with me, too. Extreme though that may sound, it is my opinion, as a childhood victim of a loser like this.

2541 days ago
35.

desiree ganby    

what happened to innocent until proven guilty. this show does nothing by entrap people. and it should be shut down. this is nothing but a lynch mob. let the man go to trial and let the system work. but for dateline and that other entity to entrap people is wrong. plain and symple

2541 days ago
36.

Kim    

Sounds like a good way to catch these perverts to me!
If they're out there looking for underage girls - it's better they get caught than have them actually meet up with a young girl. Go pick on someone your own age - ever hear of a dating site? No - that would be legal!!!! What a sicko.

2541 days ago
37.

Lance    

Chris Hanson needs to get his ass kicked. The offenders that are captured are disgraceful; but someone should punch Hanson in the face - he is awfully smug. Chances are he is a pedophile also.

2541 days ago
38.

voice of reason    

"Spy" must be one of Chris's victims....??? Also, look up entrapment, it's not what most people think. "ENTRAPMENT- Inducing a person to commit a crime he is otherwise not inclined to commit..." The doctor was most certainly inclined to commit this crime all on his own. If you call a 14-year-old girl stating her age and chatting with an old perverted man "inducing", then you need to get a better dictionary. I'm sure that HE, like all the others, started the sick talk all by himself- NO ONE FORCED OR INDUCED HIM. These people are not stupid, and they are working with law enforcement, they know the rules of engagement. FRY THE B*ASTARD.

2541 days ago
39.

Brandon    

Yeah he's disgusting, and he should go to jail. But... This is a perfect example of the Law Enforcement I know. They will do anything to get someone in cuffs, but won't do the prior research nor follow their own rules and regulations so they may secure a conviction!

2541 days ago
40.

sylell    

I saw the episode - the guy is guilty. Sad commentary on our society that he even feels he has a right to sue and, worse (because he is obviously not dealing with reality) that there is a lawyer willing to take on the case to try to shake down people who tell the truth.

2541 days ago
41.

George Sidoti    

Chris Hansen has done an outstanding job in highlighting and televising some of the worst people in our society. From on-line fraudulent schemes to child molestation, the perpertrators of these crimes and the cimes must be displayed to the public to raise the awareness and need for tougher laws.

I am happy to see this case go in the direction it's going and allow the law to begin its own evaluation of on-line predators. We need tougher laws and penalties to prevent/punish on-line predators. And, the sooner, the better!

2541 days ago
42.

Ryan    

This doctor thinks that he has a chance of walking? What NBC did wasnt "entrapment" They didnt "trick" him into coming to the house. He arrived in his own car under his own power... He said they got him to come over so they can "make a buck." BUT SHE WAS 13!!!!!! It doesnt matter what his excuse was. HE SHOWED UP TO MOLEST A YOUNG GIRL! HES GUILTY!

2541 days ago
43.

njadman    

He's a creep. No matter what stance he takes, he was there to have sex with a minor. No matter how it's sliced or diced...he's guilty. He was there for one thing and one thing only.
Lock the bastard up, throw away the keys and let him become someone's bitch.

2541 days ago
44.

Keep It Up Dateline!    

This is what is wrong with this country. A man can try to have sex with a 13 year old. He can talk to her about sexual things online and even drive out to her house to meet her. And when he's arrested they say he was 'entrapped'. If it wasn't so pathetic, I'd laugh.

I love that show. I hope it's on forever.

2541 days ago
45.

Minette    

He's a sick man and any lawyer that would try to get him off based on these charges is just as sick.
How long are we, as a country, going to continue to protect adults at the expense of children?
Put this doctor away from decent people! I don't care who he is or how much money he's got he needs to stay away from having sex with children!
I don't care how they caught him, I'm just glad they caught him.

2541 days ago
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