Sexual predators often hide in neighborhoods. They easily conceal themselves until someone manages to expose them.
Private citizens all over the country have started groups that work to bring to light sexual predators. While this is perfectly legal, law enforcement does warn there are some risks associated with pursuing vigilante justice.
Liability for defamation
One of the biggest risks of investigating and exposing sexual predators as a private citizen is making a false allegation. When someone gets a finger pointed at them, saying they have committed a sexual crime, it can ruin their life. It’s been clear in recent years how just the rumor of sexual criminal activity can cause a person to lose his or her job, wreck marriages and lead to ostracization.
Even if you feel you are acting in the name of justice, if you get it wrong, you could face liability for defamation. Your life could fall to ruins if the other party proves you made false accusations and caused them harm.
Going after sexual predators can put you in danger. These people may be a part of a bigger organization, or they simply may be unstable. You could put your life and the lives of your loved ones at risk by pursing an assumed predator. You may not completely understand how dangerous it can be to get wrapped up in this segment of society before it is too late.
Law enforcement cannot stop you from trying to uncover sexual predators and may appreciate it when you do help them find someone breaking the law. However, you should be aware of the risks and know that your good deed could end up harming you.