Patrick Huff was arrested yesterday and charged with sexual battery. He is a massage therapist in Port St. Lucie who is alleged to have inappropriately touched one of his female clients. According to the Palm Beach Post Article, the police attempted a controlled phone call during their investigation.
A controlled phone call is an investigative technique the police use in sex abuse cases to try to get the suspect to admit guilt. They will have either the victim or someone close with the suspect call the suspect and try to talk with him about what happened. What the suspect doesn’t know is the call is being recorded and his words will later be played for a jury to help convict him.
Usually, it is a crime to record a telephone conversation without the other party knowing that you are recording them. That’s why customer service people always tell you your call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. They tell you because it is a crime not to tell you. But there is an exception when law enforcement is involved and they are conducting a criminal investigation.
This kind of evidence can be extremely damaging to the defense. To make matters worse, there is generally no way to convince a judge to exclude it from trial. There is no motion to file or argument to make.
So, remember this, if nothing else: everything you say can and will be used against you. If the victim calls you and wants to talk about it, you are probably being recorded. Stop talking about your criminal activity unless you want to go to prison for it.