Man featured on show has case tossed out
A California man accused of being a sexual predator after a TV sting has had his case thrown out.
Joseph Roisman, now 26, appeared on the Dateline NBC show “To Catch a Predator” in 2006, where he was caught on tape showing up at a home to allegedly have sex with a 13-year-old girl that he had met on the Internet. As fans of the show know, that girl didn’t exist, and Roisman found himself in an awkward situation having to be confronted by the show’s host, Chris Hansen.
Roisman was part of a sting by the show working with volunteers from the group Perverted Justice, an organization which routinely poses as minors online, and when they are approached by adults looking to meet them for sex, they inform the police. This particular sting in Petaluma, California, resulted in 29 arrests and 27 convictions.
But Roisman managed to escape jail and go free, reports the Press Democrat, after Judge Arthur Wick ruled that the online conversations between Roisman and the virtual 13-year-old contained insufficient evidence and that Perverted Justice “lacked credibility” and “engaged in entrapment.”
Wick said, “The axiom actions speak louder than words clearly does not apply in this case.”
Roisman’s attorney, Stephen Turer, had argued that Roisman didn’t even believe the person he was chatting with was 13 years old due to the “sophisticated and mature messages” and that his intent was not to have sex when he traveled over 100 miles to meet her.
Roisman’s mother, Deborah Roisman, said “To Catch a Predator” made the past five years “a living hell” for her son, and that she and her family are planning to sue NBC, in part to recoup the $100,000 her and her husband spent on legal fees in their son’s defense.
Besides the arrest and spending a subsequent year in jail, Roisman was also dismissed from the Navy, where he was a cook at the time.
Roisman plans on petitioning the Navy to reinstate him into the service, saying, “I’m ready to move on with my life.”