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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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616.

Misplaced    

This guy cried like a baby when he was caught!

2547 days ago
617.

LAWDAWG    

#427 - THE ONLY ONES "FIERCELY ATTACKING" THE SHOW ARE CHILD MOLESTING SICKOS LIKE YOURSELF. DON'T WATCH IT IF IT MAKES YOU HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT YOUR OWN FATE.

I HEAR THE CARMA TRAIN COMING AND IT'S HEADED RIGHT FOR YOU.

2547 days ago
618.

Jenn    

A predator is a predator anyway you look at it. Parents need to be responsible for their children, and what they are viewing on the internet...but it is nice to have Dateline looking out for the interests of our children too. Call it what you like but one by one if they take them off the street....better for our children.

2547 days ago
619.

SFC T    

This "Doc" is a PERV, clear cut and no doubts about it. He should lose his Medical License, and his PRIVATE PARTS, along with several years of his freedom.

He was caught like the Dog he is, and now he's hiding behind a skirt that probably doesn't have kids of her own. If she did, she sure as heck wouldn't be defending this turkey! Either that or she only cares about Money, and not CHILDREN'S PROTECTION.

2547 days ago
620.

christie    

I don't care what happens in court, he was still seen by millions of people as a sexual pervert, and was preying on 13 year old girls. What if it had been a real girl?? How many times has Dr. Pervert done this kind of thing before?

2547 days ago
621.

sarah    

While i think Chirs Hansen is a complet Ahole the show at least gets some sickos of the street for a short while i hope this disgusting freak and his equally disgusting lawyer get put away forever how can she in her right mind defend this person. Id also like to know what kind of doctor he was did he see children???

2547 days ago
622.

Kathy    

seems to me there should be someone in his life that would tell him to "shut-up" and face the music. these guys are the filth of the world, and SHOULD be punished. I wonder why some people seem to think they are above the law. a really good defense atty whould tell him NOT to go into court with this. i hope the judge crushes them.

2547 days ago
623.

LAWDAWG    

#367 - You forgot to mention that there's a government approved hidden camera in your bathroom and someone is tracking your every bowel movement

2547 days ago
624.

love the show    

This has to be one of the BEST shows on TV. And NO, it's not entrapment, it is a great way to show the world just how many sick perverts are out there. Now the show is even better, as they have the predator talk face to face with the decoy and get into the details of what they are going to do with them. Let's face it, any loser who is going after a 13 year old girl (or BOY for that matter... remember the RABBI???) needs to be shown to the world as what they really are, a sick, perverted LOSER.

Go Dateline!!!

2547 days ago
625.

someone who knows    

This is simple proof that there is no 'cure' for sexual predators and pedophiles. It is a CHOICE, not a disease though it is definitely 'sick'. These men on this show all have one thing in common...a desire for sex with young kids. These men are not incapable of normal, age appropriate relations. Most of them are or were married with kids of their own. They CHOOSE kids because they WANT to.

As far as entrapment, no case. No one singled them out, asking them to get in a chat room, initiate conversations with what appear to be young kids then CONTINUE inappropriate conversations with these kids, day after day, often for weeks, AFTER they have been told, repeatedly and have acknowledged, repeatedly they are having these conversations with a child. It is not just 'role-playing', and the proof of that is they SHOW UP at the appointed time and place, bringing with them items the decoys asked for...all proves intent. If using decoys in this way is illegal, entrapment or unconstitutional, then every person convicted of selling or buying drugs from an undercover police officer ALSO has the same argument.

The fact is, this has been ruled on by just about every state supreme court as well as the US Supreme Court. It is NOT entrapment. AND, more importantly, it is NOT a disease, it is a CHOICE. As soon as we as a society stop trying to FIX these animals, we will be on the right path to stopping them. There is an estimated MINIMUM recidivism rate of 97% for sexual predators. WITHOUT exception, they all report that they continue to do this because the risk of gettin caught is low, and they enjoyment they get is worth the risk. There is absolutely an element of mental disturbance with these predators, AND almost without exception, everyone of them were victims when they were young. So, while we cannot CURE a CHOICE, we do have the opportunity to stop the cycle...stop creating more predators. Not everyone who is a child victim becomes a predator, but, most predators were child victims. As for the rest? Well, a very few are simply mentally disturbed in many, many ways, and this is just one manifestation of their psychoses. Sadly, there a quite a few who simply fantasize about young, pure, bodies, and that begins the slippery slide down the slope to ending up on MSNBC. Again, a free-willed, conscious CHOICE.

2547 days ago
626.

cattychat    

Where I live we have murders rising, drugs infesting cities, children robbing people, and the cops have no clue what to do. How about fighting real crime rather than entrapping people on the internet. The police should be on the streets patroling, not showing off on tv. These show made me so angry-did the cops really need the leaf camo suit? Is this what we pay police to do? This show took away the right to a trial-everyone has already convicted these men without a trial. It could have been your son on that show, what would you say then? These people have problems with self control and making the right decision. Fortunately, there was no sex so how can we charge them with sex crimes? They were chatting with a big fat ugly pervert-where does he learn what to say, who is the biggest pervert? We do live in America-we do have free speach....tv sucks and it is brainwashing you-you will let "them" take away your rights because of what the tv says-do you believe everything you see on tv?

buy gold

2547 days ago
627.

JLP    

How dare they mention the word "entrapment?" They're the ones who came on to the "decoy," not the other way round. We're not talking cybering to get a thrill, we're talking wanting to show up and having sex with a minor, "what's wrong with this picture?" I watch the show every week and am constantly amazed by the perverts that show up, even the ones who have watched the show on TV!!! "Oh, this is my first time," they moan, yeah, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn that needs a buyer. The most disgusting one of all was the man who showed up to have sex with what he thought was a 13 or 14 year old boy & he brought his 5 year old son with him. As someone else posted "a perv is a perv is a perv."

2547 days ago
628.

cattychat    

16 pled guilty and 2 were convicted thus far-because of entrapment, if you want to catch a predator don't do it on tv. Parents should watch their children online-this is what it is really about-we give our kids internet access without explaining the bad seedy part. Watch your kids and they will be safe...

buy gold

2547 days ago
629.

ssyhonf    

the problem lies in the fact that Perverted Justice is paid for their services, therefore has something to gain financially by getting a large number of men to agree to these stings. it's been said many times that they often are either the first to bring up sex, or badger men in to talking about it after the men refuse. that is where the entrapment comes in.

it doesn't excuse the mens' behavior or their actions, but legally, it is entrapment.

while the majority of these men should go to prison, i completely disagree that vigilante justice is the way to catch them. especially when it's done for ratings.

to all those that say "the end justifies the means", we'll see how you feel about that when government officials and police officers start breaking down the doors of your homes blindly searching for something illegal. after all, if they DID find something, the end would justify the means... wouldn't it?

2547 days ago
630.

Jack M. Hoff    

#390 Pro Com Man. Are you serious? You moonbats just love blame all the ills of this country on GW Bush. I suppose he put these pedo-pervs up to logging on and leading young children into sexual conversations. Oh yeah, he also got these sick bastards to get in their cars and drive for hours to meet underage girls and boys.

It will and has been shown in court that these guys have NOT been entrapped. The transcripts of their chat sessions show that the pedo-pervs intentionally lead the conversation to sex. They send pictures of their tiny weiners to little girls and boys. They all are playing with themselves while they chat with kids. How sick is that!

2547 days ago
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