California judge Arthur Wick has dropped a case against Joseph Roisman, a former Navy man, who was caught in a sting that was set up by NBC’s ‘To Catch a Predator’ because the TV show's producers engaged in entrapment.
Roisman was arrested in 2006 after trying to meet what he allegedly thought was a 13-year-old girl whom he'd chatted with on the Internet, but was actually a staffer for the TV show.
"The axiom, 'Actions speak louder than words,' clearly does not apply in this case," Judge Wick said. He ruled that prosecutors could not prove Roisman had "specific intent" to commit a crime.
After the show entrapped him, Roisman was kicked out of the Navy and spent time behind bars. His lawyer Stephen Turer told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "This case is the poster child for the abuse in this program. They took everything away from this kid just to make a TV show."
Turer said despite his client being told the "girl" he met online was just 13-years-old, Roisman didn't believe it because of her sophisticated messages online. He said Roisman did not plan to have sex with the girl even though he traveled 110 miles by bus to meet her. It was employees of the show that steered the conversation to sex, Turer said.
When Roisman arrived at a Petaluma, California hotel to meet the girl, he was confronted by show's host, Chris Hansen, and arrested by police.
Roisman's mother, Deborah Roisman, said they planned to sue NBC. "They made my son's life a living hell for five years.” Officials with the show did not respond to requests for comment.