LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Lee County dad is one of 31 men busted in an online undercover sting. The men are accused of soliciting underage girls for sex. Only on WINK, the wife of one of the men arrested is coming to his defense.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office busted 31 men for using a computer to solicit children over the internet and then traveling to see them. One wife says that while her husband is in jail, he deserves a second chance.
Men from across the state were busted when they thought they were meeting young girls for sex. Instead, they came face to face with law enforcement.
"Yes, he did something wrong. He did something that was terrible but you know what, everybody makes mistakes and he deserves a second chance," said the wife of the accused.
WINK News is consealing her identify to protect the idenity of her children.
"He's guilty because he drove his truck there to meet that person but he's innocent because he's never been caught like this," said the wife.
The wife of the accused believes her husband got caught up in something he never planned to do.
"We don't trick anyone into committing a crime… They have to have the conscious mindset into committing a crime," said Sheriff Thomas Knight, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
"He didn't murder anyone, he didn't hurt a child, he never touched anyone. He just got caught with an injustice of the law," said the wife.
WINK News went to the homes of other suspects but only one other family member wanted to talk.
"I think he's a great boy. Very, how should I say, very respected by his friends," said Anthony Pessini, grandfather of a suspect.
"We're going to fight this. I know my husband and I know my husband wouldn't go an meet a 15 year old or a 16 year old or even a 12 year old. He would not do this," said the wife.
Of the 31 men, seven are from Lee County, five are from Charlotte County and one is from Collier County. In addition to the charges of soliciting a child for sex, a Lee County man was also arrested for bringing his 4-year-old nephew along to meet the teenage girl.