Many such Americans are innocent of the crime for which they are charged.
In the Houston area, such victims can get help from experienced Houston sex crime defense lawyer Neal Davis.
He said that in 16 of the cases, he had no jurisdiction, since neither the suspects nor the decoys were in the county during the online chats.
It is the first time in nine "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" stings across the country in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges.
"Dateline" has made prime-time entertainment out of contacting would-be child molesters over the Internet, luring them to a meeting place, and videotaping their humiliating confrontations with reporter Chris Hansen.
According to Texas sex crime laws, “online solicitation of a minor,” occurs when a person 17 or older uses email, texts (sexting), the Internet or other electronic methods to try to get a minor to engage in sexual conversations or activities, either in person or via the Internet.
Such contact can include exchanging sexually explicit videos or photos or using explicit sexual language.
As police knocked at his door and a "Dateline" camera crew waited in the street, Conradt shot himself.
His sister, Patricia Conradt, told the City Council that police acted as "a judge, jury and executioner that was encouraged by an out-of-control reality show." Then, last month, Collin County District Attorney John Roach dropped all charges.
"I can tell you in the other locations, these issues did not come up." Eric Nichols, a Texas deputy attorney general, said that when law enforcement authorities pull an Internet sex sting, officers posing as decoys follow strict rules.
Detailed chat logs are kept to ensure that "sex talk" is initiated by the potential predator. Eric Chase, a defense attorney specializing in sex crimes, said stings are the job of police, not TV crews.
"Police should not be abdicating a very important function to either private organizations or entertainment organizations," he said.
Americans across the nation are being snared in aggressive online solicitation of a minor stings led by federal, state or local authorities.
In fact, a defendant can face prison time without ever contacting a minor online, since the person at the other end may have been a law enforcement officer posing as an underage girl or boy.