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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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586.

Ryuuku    

You people have to understand that despite all the "fire" that seems to be in your collective Internet voices that this is a TV show, and that the number one concern of a TV show is ratings. The bottom line. They are not interested in the true sense of justice at all. They know the public (especially the American public in this era) will easily take the lynch mob mentality when it comes to people who peruse Internet chat rooms looking for sex. However, I hope many will exercise a bit of intelligence when looking at a situation like this. Analyze it for what it is, and not simply what is presented. Otherwise more good than harm will be done in the name of "protecting children." Considering the way the "child predator" law is structured in the U. S., I think it already has. Kudos to that fine minority of people who dare to say this is not true justice, but rather a crude form of entertainment to stir up emotions in people that are quite misguide. This is the power the media has over us.

2542 days ago
587.

Deb    

WAY TO GO CHRIS! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! This show and America's Most Wanted are helping get the low lifes from hurting people. The creeps that get caught are so concerned about THEIR rights. What about the rights of the people they were going to victimize. It's not all about the creeps rights. The rights of the victims and the long-lasting effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares, not feeling safe again,etc. YOU CREEPS ARE SELFISH PSYCHOPATHS THAT NEED TO BE LOCKED UP UNTIL YOU GO FEET FIRST ON A STRETCHER TO THE CEMETARY! May God have mercy on your souls. I'm a nurse who has taken care of victims of abuse. It's heart breaking.

2542 days ago
588.

yr not kiddin anyone    

I will bet anything that NAMBLA is paying his attorney's fees! You know they are. And lawyers are so disgusting they would sue their own mother for a buck if they could. So if NAMBLA and this 'doctor' are throwing money around, they'll circle like the hungry soulless sharks they are.

2542 days ago
589.

Deb    

TO 432 KELLY. TRY LOOKING IN THE MIRROR WHEN YOU CALL SOMEONE A "TROLL". YOU'RE RIGHT. I AM BITTER WHEN CHILDREN ARE VICTIMIZED. WHERE ARE YOU'RE STANDARDS AND CONVICTIONS ABOUT THIS INJUSTICE FOR CHILDREN? GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER. I'VE TAKEN CARE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE VICTIMS. THE LONG LASTING EFFECTS ARE HORRIFIC!
WAY TO GO CHRIS!

2542 days ago
590.

CGS    

ALL child molesters should be taken directly behind the courthouse they were convicted in and shot in the head. Period.

2542 days ago
591.

Mr Hand    

Hey Deb #441

Take your meds and go to sleep. You're a nutcase.

2542 days ago
592.

Mr Hand    

It's always the people that proclaim what wonderful Christian and God fearing people they are, then say Hang 'em. No due process, no fair trail, no compassion for fellow man.

You are a bunch of hypocrites, you make the baby Jesus cry.

2542 days ago
593.

Sashenko    

Now really people! Some of these people who showed up at the rented location as a supposed rendezvous location quite likely were wishing to meet the children in order to talk to them and pray with and for them. Those arrested really believed they would encounter children so they had every reason to prepare for such an encounter only to be broadsided with no courtesy by photographers, videographers and money hungry Dateline with slipping ratings so it goes for trash the majority of viewers wish to see and can understand. Its own COPS! Possibly a poor replica of Reno 911, Many of those arrested were seriously intending to help the children one on one or one or two or more.

Don't be so paranoid. Give these people a break.

Love and understanding with empathy is erotic.

S

2542 days ago
594.

Hoping for change    

I am very saddened and frustrated by the quick judgement most of you seem to have of a fellow HUMAN BEING. Since when did it become the norm to throw the accused under the bus before knowing the full story. Can't you stop and look at both sides of the fence? Did he make a mistake? Yes? Did he actually have sexual relations with an underaged female? NO He chatted to AN adult on line posing as a young girl,who turned out to be an ADULT. I'm sorry but I am not ready to try and convict someone soley on intentions. I don't think it is wise or sane that we as a human race start convicting people on intentions alone. Does this man have a problem he needs to address probably yes. Could it be based on other problems other than sexual,it shouldn't be ruled out. I think we ALL need to step back from the hysteria and look at the bigger picture, that NO ONE is immune from making poor choices and that anyone of us could be in the "hot seat".

2542 days ago
595.

chris    

whatmannerofsociety

Oh honey bunch.. you would be surprised at who I am you LOSER.

2542 days ago
596.

Hoping for change    

I am a woman in my 20s. I want to bring up something that no one else seems to be bringing up. Do these teenage girls who are participating in sexual conversations with older men, and many times encouraging the continuation of these conversations and even of meeting not hold any responsibility at all? Does everyone think that a 14, 15 or 16 year old girl has no notion or understanding of her own sexuality? I do not support adult men picking up teenage girls online. No! But I also think that there is more to this than just labeling every man in this situation than just a “sick, perverted” man victimizing a poor defenseless, innocent teen girl. If you use some of the conversations which Perverted Justice has online, posing as a teen girl, they many times portray this girl as quite knowledgeble and sometimes even enthusiastic on her part. I do not say that this takes responsibility off of the man, but it also portrays something more than one person victimizing another. Let's use our brains not extreme emotion.

2542 days ago
597.

Kat    

I don't think Dateline went over the line, however I'm not sure how admissible the chat logs would be? Surely anything online can be edited. Mark, I did see that episode where Chris had the wrong chat log! Oops! It amazes me how many men keep coming and coming to the houses...it's scary. They always say the girl asks them over but that doesn't mean they have to go! It's quite sickening actually.

2542 days ago
598.

Mr Hand    

#454 Kelly

You work the drive thru at McDonalds, right? Breakfast is coming soon, get those 'eggamufins up. S K A N K

2541 days ago
599.

madmom    

How are we being 'quick to judge' ? So he didn't do anything to the under age girl he thought he was meeting.......are we suppose to wait for him to actually have sex with the girl and then arrest him? What the heck are you thinking? He shouldn't even be chatting w/anyone under the age of 18 because normal men or women wouldn't engage in that kind of chat or have fantasies about minors. Just because they didn't actually touch anyone and only showed up at the house (w/the full intent of having sex, who are we kidding?) they more than likely have already done something like this before and hadn't been caught yet......or, they are going to anyway and THANK GOD that the one time there were going to carry out their sicko fantasy, it was Chris Hansen and the show instead of a real minor!! They just nipped it in the butt before it happened!!!!

2541 days ago
600.

Angela    

as for my earlier post, please know that I meant Dr. Wolin! Chris Hansen is doing an excellent job as well as the people who work and volunteer for Perverted Justice! Kudos!!!

2541 days ago
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