The Lane Train

News and Pop Culture for the Blog Generation

NBC, Family of Child Predator Take a Seat, Settle Lawsuit

Posted by thelanetrain on June 26, 2008

If we had to think of three things that are incredibly embarassing, they would be wearing a speedo, this, and appearing as a “guest” on To Catch a Predator.  One guy who appeared on the show was so overtaken with grief and humiliation that he actually killed himself before the cops could arrest him.  Then, his family sued NBC for making him break down and do it.  Well today, that lawsuit finally got settled, and although the plaintiffs were hoping to gain over $100 million in damages, an NBC rep reported that, “The matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties,” or whatever we’re supposed to gain from that.

After The Jump: The story in detail (Warning: Serious Article Ahead)(NSFW)

So who exactly was this guy and what would drive him to the point of suicide?  Over the years we’ve seen plenty of Predator appearances and most of the guys would just accept the arrest, or cry, or try to get out of it, but this guy was very different.  As Chris Hansen would say, “Why don’t you take a seat…”

The man at the center of it all was William Conradt Jr., a 56 year-old assistant prosecutor and former district attorney who laid down the law by day, but apparently moonlighted as a pedophile.  The dude had a penchant for seducing young boys (at least Boy George kept his victims legal), and one night, decided to go online to find some.  He came across a 13 year-old Dallas area boy with the screenname “NoOneZero93″, and Conradt claimed to be a 19 year-old named “Wil”.  But unbeknownst to Conradt, NoOneZero was actually an undercover cop.

So after some initial contact via instant messenger, the two parties chatted online at length one night.  The actual transcript can be read here, and contains some pretty explicit dialogue (Perverted Justice makes this easy to read by bolding the font).  Aside from sending the 13 year-old semi-pornographic and x-rated pictures of his 19 year-old persona, Conradt kept trying to steer the conversation towards sexually explicit chatter and content.  Just so that everyone knows that Conradt was breaking the law, the conversation starts like this:

Inxs00 [9:02 A.M.]: how are you
NoOneZero93 [9:02 A.M.]: brain dead
Inxs00 [9:02 A.M.]: me too
NoOneZero93 [9:03 A.M.]: asl?
Inxs00 [9:03 A.M.]: 19/m/tx
Inxs00 [9:03 A.M.]: you?
NoOneZero93 [9:03 A.M.]: 13/m/dallas
NoOneZero93 [9:04 A.M.]: like where in tx?
Inxs00 [9:04 A.M.]: dallas
NoOneZero93 [9:05 A.M.]: pic?
Inxs00 [9:05 A.M.]: yep
Inxs00 [9:05 A.M.]: do you?
NoOneZero93 [9:05 A.M.]: kewl
NoOneZero93 [9:05 A.M.]: yip

And then somewhow makes its way over to this:

NoOneZero93 [9:40 A.M.]: ur hot and in college u can get all the guys u want y me?
Inxs00 [9:41 A.M.]: to me you’re hot
NoOneZero93 [9:41 A.M.]: y?
Inxs00 [9:42 A.M.]: i like ynger
NoOneZero93 [9:42 A.M.]: really> like for bf or just sex?
Inxs00 [9:42 A.M.]: both

Inxs00 [9:42 A.M.]: you like older?
NoOneZero93 [9:43 A.M.]: yea they understand what i talk bout
Inxs00 [9:43 A.M.]: what’s the oldest you been out with
NoOneZero93 [9:43 A.M.]: its not kewl to say on here i dont wanna get no one in trouble
Inxs00 [9:43 A.M.]: oh, ok
NoOneZero93 [9:44 A.M.]: guys my age talk about the gayest shyt

And then:

Inxs00 [6:31 P.M.]: you want me to take pics of you
NoOneZero93 [6:31 P.M.]: like naked?
Inxs00 [6:31 P.M.]: do you want me to?
NoOneZero93 [6:32 P.M.]: what if u put them on the net?
Inxs00 [6:32 P.M.]: i wouldn’t do that, cause they are of you
NoOneZero93 [6:32 P.M.]: if we were like real bf ok
Inxs00 [6:32 P.M.]: cool
NoOneZero93 [6:33 P.M.]: but just 4 us
NoOneZero93 [6:33 P.M.]: u swear?
Inxs00 [6:33 P.M.]: yes, i swear

There’s a lot more, and it extends over a period of about two weeks, and gets much more explicit, so if you dare, click the link at the top of the portion after the jump for the transcript in its entirety.

Near the end of their exchange, the police start loosing contact with the pedophile.  As the detectives note:

“We began to notice that information was disappearing — Conradt was deleting profiles — and when we advised the police of this, they chose to act then on the information, as Conradt had already broken the law.”

So at this point, the police are on their way over to his house with Conradt in full realization that he actually solicited sex from a minor, a male minor, and this doesn’t really fly well in the red state of Texas, so when the officers and NBC cameras showed up to his house after Conradt failed to come to the decoy house to be arrested and embarassed on national television, the shamed ex-D.A. shot himself and later died at a local hospital.

About seven months later, the family of Conradt filed suit against NBC-Universal, for what they believed was an unlawful arrest and invasion of this man’s private property and privacy.  Hmmm, you know, a search warrant usually supercedes personal privacy in most cases, and when we’re talking about a man who openly admitted to wanting to have sex with a thirteen-year-old boy, isn’t that grounds for taking away his rights to privacy?

But the family wasn’t going to go down without a fight and a proper explanation for their deceased pedophiliac.  Said Conradt’s sister to reporters

“The suicide was reasonably foreseeable..At this time, the defendant wore the robe of a state official and Bill wore the shackles of a detainee. Having trespassed and invaded upon Bill’s property to broadcast a spectacle to millions, the defendant took no more steps toward protecting him than are received by a gladiator or bull.”

One of the toughest dilemma’s about Predator is the issue of arresting someone publicly and live in front of a large viewing audience.  It would be one thing for cops to invade your home while you’re masturbating to kiddie porn, but at least the cameras aren’t there to roll for the ratings.  In this specific case, the family argues that NBC was worried more about increasing viewership and ratings than about actually clamping pedophilia and taking predators off the streets, which is certainly plausible, given that TV ratings in general have been in a downturn since the advent of TiVo and online streaming videos, but on the flipside, Conradt’s crime was preventable.  As a man of the law, he should have known that it is totally illegal to have sex with minors, and I’m sure that since he’s from a civilized area of the country (metro Dallas, as opposed to a backwater town), he must have heard of To Catch A Predator before and what they do to sex offenders.

The lawsuit settlement will definitely end the legal battles and provide the family with some peace of mind and a small token of reparations, given the hardships they had to endure through the ordeal.  It is never easy to lose a family member, especially one who dies due to the extreme humiliation, guilt, and shame felt when you get caught with your pants down (or in this case, hands inside them), but at the same time, it is extremely hard to defend and protect someone who wishes to deflower children before they even reach puberty.

So our final take on the matter is: We’re happy that both sides were able to end the lawsuit on amicable terms, but at the same time, all you need to do to avoid this is keep your sick, perverted, NAMBLA-oriented thoughts (and edifices) out of young boys.  It’s that plain and simple.

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