About That Vanderbilt University Football Player Caught in a Sex-Trafficking Sting…

If you're looking for yet another example of sexually predatory acts from athletes at Vanderbilt, this isn't it.


Rashad Canty/Twitter

Just a few weeks after two Vanderbilt University football players were convicted of raping an unconscious woman, another Vanderbilt student athlete has been accused of a sex crime. But the case against former Vanderbilt wide-receiver Rashad Canty, 20, isn't quite like the others. While Canty may have indeed been arrested in what Tennessee police described as a "sex trafficking sting," Canty—and the 34 other men arrested with him—stands accused of a crime in which no actual victim exists.

The "sex trafficking sting" that snared Canty, carried out by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), is typical of U.S. law-enforcement in 2016. For the operation, TBI posted on classified-ad site Backpage.com purporting to be women selling sex in Nashville. When would-be clients took the bait, TBI agents arranged meetups that ended with not sex but a criminal citation.

"Nearly 6,000 men allegedly responded to the ads, resulting in 41 arrests, including that of the former Vanderbilt football player," The Daily Beast reported, though it's unclear where this number comes from. According to a TBI press release, only 485 men reached out to undercover cops. And of these men, only 18 wrote in response to ads for sex with someone under 18. In almost all of cases, the men were looking for no more than to pay an adult woman for consensual sex.

In addition to TBI agents and intelligence analysts, Metro Nashville Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the FBI participated in the sting.

Ultimately, only one person was charged with "solicitation of a minor," and none were charged with sex trafficking. Most of the men were booked for "patronizing prostitution," a class B misdemeanor in Tennessee defined as "soliciting or hiring another person to engage in sexual activity or going to a brothel or house of prostitution for sexual activity." In addition to the 34 adult men arrested, one juvenile was also cited patronizing prostitution.

The operation also yielded prostitution charges for six young women. According to TBI, the women arrested were identified by a local nonprofit as being potential sex-trafficking victims.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said the August operation—which, just to recap, involved multiple federal agencies and led to charges against 35 people who had victimized precisely no one and six women who may be trafficking victims—was meant to punish those who "victimize girls and women."

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  1. I continue to be baffled by how these stings can result in any charges:

    “solicitation of a minor” when no minor was actually solicited?

    “patronizing prostitution” when no prostitutes were actually patronized?

    Its like reverse mens rea – you may have had the intent to commit a crime, but you didn’t actually commit a crime. Its like arresting someone for possession of heroin who was ripped off by his dealer, so that baggie didn’t have any heroin in it at all.

    1. It is nothing more than entrapment.

      I live in that area and of course the local news media breathlessly plaid it up as if some major crime wave had been thwarted.

      The whole thing is absolute nonsense.

    2. We have to get to thought crime being a thing, or else we can’t save the children.

    3. That reasoning, charging people who haven’t committed a crime but only intended to (mens rea), seems like a good defense in cases where a crime was committed but there was no intent. The govt is acknowledging the importance of mens rea in some cases but not others, why not use that to bring it back in all cases? It seems like sound reasoning to me but I wouldn’t bet on it. I am guessing the court’s response would be a resounding FYTW.

      1. Seems like it would be easy enough to use mens rea as a defense and then when the prosecutor inevitably argues no intent is necessary throw some of these cases in their face. It would be even better if the prosecutor was one who had prosecuted these kinds of cases in the past…even use their own arguments for the importance of intent word for word.

    4. for the children, FYTW, take your pick.

    5. Its like reverse mens rea – you may have had the intent to commit a crime, but you didn’t actually commit a crime.

      How is it not an easy out for the person caught in something like this to claim they actually only intended to pay for company, not sex? It was a sting, so (I assume that) by definition, no sort of sexual activity actually took place.

      Who knows, maybe it’s just the arrests that make news, with the charges only rarely actually sticking.

  2. ENB, on topic as usual.

  3. “In addition to the 34 adult men arrested, one juvenile was also cited patronizing prostitution.”

    The cops can charge themselves with solicitation of a minor for this one. Help pad the numbers some more.

  4. One would hope Vanderbilt players were smart enough to avoid this sort of thing.

      1. “I’m gone, be good” maybe?

          1. If anyone can get out of this, Rashad can, Canty?

            1. (groan)

              This is weird.

              Vanderbilt players to show solidarity with police before practice

              Vanderbilt football players will join arms with campus police officers before the team’s first practice Thursday in a show of solidarity with their community and those who protect them, the team announced Thursday.

              Linebacker Oren Burks became the spokesperson for the team after SEC commissioner Greg Sankey praised his leadership as a member of the SEC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

              The issue of police relations, especially with the African-American community, has been at the forefront of this political cycle. In the sports world, there have been more and more athletes willing to speak up and take a stand to improve their communities ? not necessarily taking one side or the other, just demanding that problems be dealt with more fairly to improve everyone’s lives.

              I’m pretty sure Robby would say this does NOT qualify as “Woke”

  5. I keep waiting for the Supreme Court to declare everything over the last 20 years as just a big misunderstanding.

    1. Don’t worry, once Hillary packs the court with her picks, you can bet on it.

      1. Hillary is immune from mens rea and too old for menorrhea.

  6. a crime in which no actual victim exists

    Isn’t that the best kind? If the cops were only allowed to arrest real criminals, their wouldn’t be enough for all of them to do. We can’t have that, because jobs.

    1. Also victims do annoying things like not wanting to press charges.

  7. Our law enforcement professionals are running out of things to do. Either that, or they’re eschewing actual police work for easy paydays.

    1. No the country is in real trouble, folks. We better wake up before it’s too late. I’m voting to restore Law and Order.

      1. Concern troll is concerned.

      2. Dick Wolf is too busy with his Chicago series, and who else would you trust to do the restoration?

    2. …or they’re eschewing actual police work for easy paydays.

      That would be my guess.

  8. Entrapment is the only thing we all belong to.

  9. Police are running out of crimes. Watch out for more intra-law-enforcement violence.

  10. For the operation, TBI posted on classified-ad site Backpage.com purporting to be women selling sex in Nashville

    It’s not fraud when the govt does it.

  11. From the linked press release:

    “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said in a statement on the operation. “This is all demand-driven. These men paying for sex with children in our state are only continuing to victimize girls and women. It’s wrong, it’s illegal, and we will pursue these operations in small towns and big cities for as long as it takes.”

    Speaker Beth Harwell visited “Operation Someone Like Me” and was able to witness some of the transactions. “To those scouring the web or apps in the search for sex with our state’s children, let me say this: Be warned,” says Speaker Harwell. “This is an agency, a movement, a state that is gaining momentum in its effort to insist it ends right here, right now.

    Good luck, Tennesseans!

    1. If it is so demand-driven then why has the price of prostitution dropped precipitously over the past decade? If demand is growing this wouldn’t be the case. Maybe technology (sites like backpage) has increased supply. The real absurdity is that all prostitution is now called sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is being sold as a new crisis to be dealt with by a heavy hand. It’s like the war on drugs.

  12. On the plus side, no one was strangled to death for having sold cigarettes tax-free at some point in history or was given a nickel ride for carrying a legal knife.

  13. Donny Drumpf sat on a wall. Donny Drumpf had a great fall.

    1. What’s Block Insane Yomama? Chopped liver?

  14. I tend to not believe any women making a claim of rape except for this one: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Juanita_Broaddrick. She’s credible.

    1. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. *looks around*

        What am I gonna do with all this lunch meat?

        1. Leave it in the midday sun for a few days.

        2. Whatchoo gon, whatchoo gon, do wit dat dessert?

      2. Or what? Lena Dunham will release another nude scene?

        1. The concept of proportionate response is completely dead then.

  15. Next up, they’ll be posting adds for sports cars or hot-rod parts on craigslist and arresting people for intending to engage in reckless driving.

    1. Speeding. automated revenue collection more efficient than in-person arrests, etc

  16. The truth about sex trafficking: brainwashed, controlled, in denial.

  17. Thank you Reason for not banning me. To what do I owe this privilege?

    1. Isn’t it a little presumptuous of you to assume you are ban-worthy?

      1. Flemming Rose is a patsy for the Western Secular Caliphate.


  18. There is a pile of federal $$$ for state government bureaucracies that want to get in on the white slavery racket. With mandates that they do so too.

  19. This is dangerously close to cheating me on a hat tip.

    I’ll let it slide. For now.

  20. An anti-prostitution campaign is textbook “social liberalism”.

  21. RE: About That Vanderbilt University Football Player Caught in a Sex-Trafficking Sting…
    If you’re looking for yet another example of sexually predatory acts from athletes at Vanderbilt, this isn’t it.

    Just because there were no victims, doesn’t mean there wasn’t victims.
    There out there.
    So don’t worry.
    The State will find these poor unfortunates even when Mr. Canty the others are decades into their prison sentences.
    You have to have faith in the system.

  22. So that’s 10 arrests per agency involved out of 6,000 replies to the ad.
    I feel safer now knowing that Homeland Security is protecting me from this threat

  23. So 6 young women were potentially victims of sex-trafficking. So what does the TBI do? ARREST THEM! That will teach those young victims not to participate in sex crimes that they didn’t want to participate in in the first place, after they were trafficked against their will.

  24. With the rsurrection of the old “White Slavery” scare, modern Feminism has completely jumped the shark.

  25. “Human trafficking” normally means transporting people clandestinely and forcing them into some sort of labor. That is a very bad thing to do. It appears people are now trying to use “sex trafficking” to mean “doing business with a prostitute”, hoping we will unthinkingly transfer to that our proper condemnation of human trafficking.

    One way we can help people resist this trickery is by denouncing and rejecting the term “sex trafficking”. Nothing obliges us to use that term.

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