R&B singer D’Angelo, whose real name is Michael Archer, was arrested in Manhattan over the weekend for allegedly offering an undercover cop posing as a prostitute $40 for oral sex. D’Angelo is maintaining his innocence and has plead not guilty to the charge.
So, the big question is, will D’Angelo argue that he was entrapped? The legal defense of entrapment is raised almost every time an undercover cop is involved in a case alleging solicitation of a prostitute.
In California, for example, the Los Angeles Police Department is notorious for sending out “decoy” officers to pose as prostitutes. These undercover cops look for “johns” to engage in conversation and to ultimately arrest for soliciting illegal sex.
Under California law, entrapment only refers to situations where a law-abiding person is coerced into committing a crime that he/she otherwise would not have. If the officer simply offered D’Angelo sex in exchange for money, her conduct wouldn’t rise to the level of entrapment. If, however, she appealed to his ego and used flattery to get him to put up the cash, he could absolutely claim that he was entrapped.
Whether the conversation was recorded, whether there were any other witnesses to the alleged conversation, and the specifics of the conversation will all be critical issues in D’Angelo’s defense.