Posted on August 28, 2017
What is a Pretext Phone Call?
A pretext phone call is a prearranged call monitored and recorded by law enforcement. Pretext phone calls are common in sex crime cases where a purported victim calls a suspect in an effort to elicit an incriminating statement.
Ordinarily, pretext phone calls are made when the evidence against a suspect is minimal. But once a suspect makes an admission or damaging statement, the case becomes must be corroborated. The accuser need not disclose that the call is being recorded. Law enforcement is allowed to record phone calls without a suspect’s knowledge for investigative purposes.
For example, Dan and Suzy met over a dating app. After their date, the two engaged in intercourse where Dan became more aggressive. Suzy demand Dan to stop but Dan refused. One week later, Suzy report the incident to law enforcement. Since one week had passed, much of the physical evidence is lost – i.e., rape kit. Because the only evidence is Suzy statement, and to prevent the case as being labeled “he said she said”, law enforcement arranges a pretext call. Once Suzy makes the call, Dan apologizes over the incident and knew that she should have stopped upon Suzy’s demand. A few days later, Dan is charged with forcible rape.