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Internet Stings & Fictitious Victims

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Can a defendant be convicted of attempted rape of a child where the alleged victim is actually a fictitious character created by police?  The Washington Supreme Court today answered affirmatively in State v. Patel

Patel intended to have sex with a 13-year-old girl. . . [I]t does not matter that that he could not have completed the act.
[The defendant's] argument is similar to that of a thief who tries to pick an empty pocket and argues that he cannot be convicted of theft because he could not have completed the crime.

The AP has this story.

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