'Dateline: To Catch a Predator' Case Ends in Acquittal

Joseph Roisman had been charged with for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor as part of a sex-crime sting captured by NBC cameras in 2006.
Chris Hansen

A sailor caught in a child-sex sting aired as part of the Dateline: To Catch a Predator series has been acquitted of all charges, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Sonoma County, Calif., Judge Arthur Wick on Tuesday threw out the case against Joseph Roisman, saying there was not enough evidence to move forward. The move came after six days of trial testimony.

Roisman had been charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor after he allegedly arranged to meet up with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl in August 2006.

But it was part of a sting set up by anti-predator organization Perverted Justice and recorded by cameras from NBC's Dateline.

When Roisman showed up at a house in Petaluma, Calif., he was met by Dateline host Chris Hansen and cameras from the NBC show. Roisman, along with 28 other men, were later arrested.

Roisman's is the only case that went to trial; the other 28 men pleaded guilty.

In his ruling, Judge Wick criticized Dateline and Perverted Justice for their tactics, saying they lacked credibility and used entrapment.

"The axiom actions speak louder than words clearly does not apply in this case," Wick said.

After his arrest, Roisman was kicked out of the Navy and spent a year in jail.

"I'm ready to move on with my life," he said outside the courtroom. "Hopefully the service will take me back."

Roisman's attorney, Stephen Turer, had argued that client did not expect sex with a teenager when he showed up at the house in Petaluma, which was 110 miles away from his own home in Watsonville, and was planning only on "cuddling and watching movies."

But prosecutor Juliette Olson Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said there was enough evidence against Roisman for a jury to make a decision.

Meanwhile, Roisman's mom, Deborah, said she plans to sue the show's producers.

"They made my son's life a living hell for five years," she said.

NBC has not responded to media requests for comment.