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Category Archives: 37B Child Prostitution Victories

Felony Child Prostitution (4 Counts) Felony Sexual Exploitation of Minor/Child Pornography and (4 Counts) Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Public Sexual Indecency & Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor Reduced to 5 Years in Prison – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 13606) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2015-114258): Mr. A had been living with a roommate for many years.  Also with the roommate had two young daughters who lived with them. Mr. A thought that one of the daughters was now 18 years of age, when in reality she was 15 years old.  He and another woman engaged in sex acts with the 15 year old, all while on videotape.  He also offered money for this activity along with alcohol.  He was ultimately charged with Child Prostitution per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3212, and 4 counts of Child Pornography (because some of the acts were filmed), 4 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, along with Public Sexual Indecency and Contributing to the Delinquency of Minor.

He was facing the rest of his life in prison, and his only defense was that he thought she was 18 years of age.  This defense was problematic, due to the fact that he also admitted that he knew her since she was 8 years old when he first met her, yet that was only 7 years prior.  This would put her age at 15.  Ultimately the state made several offers which eventually got down to a low offer of a stipulated 5 years in prison.  Mr. A accepted that offer, which was far below the standard offer for these types of charges.

(5 Counts) Felony Child Prostitution (Dangerous Crimes Against Children) Reduced to Luring (Non DCAC) with 2 Years in Prison – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14024) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-156066):  Mr. S reached out to an undercover Detective on a tagged social media account.  The profile was for an 18 year old girl who was an escort.  It also included three pictures of an adult female.  After the undercover Detective was contacted, the Detective took on a persona of a 16 year old girl.  Various conversations were had about bringing in other girls for sex who were 13 and 11 years old.

Many of the conversations did not specifically refer money from Mr. S.  All of the money talk came from the undercover Detective without any explicit agreement by Mr. S.  Ultimately, he arranged to meet the undercover and he was immediately arrested for Solicitation of Child Prostitution per Arizona Revised Statue ARS 13-3212.  They confiscated his computer tablets and phone, which detailed all of the conversations.

Mr. S had some potential defenses, however, if he lost at trial he would face a minimum of 35 years in prison, and a maximum of 105 years in prison.  Just prior to trial, the State offered to reduce the charge to 3 counts of Luring with 2 years in prison.  Mr. S could be released after 1 year and 8 months with good behavior.

Felony Child Prostitution Reduced to Attempted Child Abuse Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor with Probation and 90 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 12174) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-109850):  Mr. D responded to an advertisement on Backpage.com. He thought he was speaking with an escort, but it turned out to be an undercover police Officer.  The Officer stated, by way of text, that she was “15, almost 16”.  They arranged to meet at a hotel room.

Mr. D showed up with $80 and two condoms.  A conversation was held on videotape which he again was told that the undercover was “15, almost 16”.  Once he was placed under arrest, he stated that he didn’t believe her and thought she was lying.  She looked much closer to “30 years of age” was his comment.  He also stated that if he thought she had looked as young as she stated she was, he would have left the situation immediately. He was still charged with Child Prostitution under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3212 (B) (2) and was facing 7 to 21 years in prison.  Because of the potential defenses he had, the State originally offered a plea to Pandering, a Class 5 Felony.  We eventually got them to agree to drop the plea down to Attempted Child Abuse, Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor with Probation and 90 days in jail with work furlough/release. At the conclusion of Probation, Mr. D’s charged turned into a Misdemeanor. He has no felony conviction on his record and he does not have to register as a sex offender.

Felony Child Prostitution Reduced to Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor Attempted Child Abuse with Probation and 15 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v. Mr. W (DMC No. 12253) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2013-458386): Mr. W responded to an ad on Backpage.com for an escort.  Sometime during the conversation, an undercover Detective posing as an escort stated she was 16 years old.  Mr. W asked for a picture of her ID to show she was actually 18.  That was never sent to him. However, he was sent pictures by the undercover Officer of females in lingerie with their heads cropped out of the photo.  He arranged for a meeting with the escort, but he never showed up.  He then had six other text messages the next day, and then eventually agreed to meet for a “quickie” for $60 at a motel.  When he arrived at the motel, he could clearly see that the undercover Officer was closer to 30 years old.  He said he was not going to talk about sex acts and only wanted to lay down and cuddle.  When the escort refused, he got up and was immediately tackled by Officers who came in from the outside.

We showed the Prosecutor that they would have a very difficult time proving that he actually had the intent to sleep with an underage prostitute.  They realized that they could easily lose at trial.  However, if they did secure conviction, Mr. W would be facing 7 to 21 years in prison per Arizona Revised Statute 3212.  Ultimately, they agreed to offer a Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor Attempt charge with Probation and 15 days jail with work furlough/release.  At the conclusion of the Probation, Mr. W’s charge was converted to a Misdemeanor.  He has no felony conviction on his record.

(2 Counts) Felony Child Prostitution Reduced to Pandering with Probation and 15 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 13345) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2015-135680):  Mr. C responded to an ad on Backpage.com.  He thought he was speaking with two girls who stated they were 16 years old and agreed to have sex for $120 and a pack of cigarettes.  He was actually speaking with an undercover Detective at the time.  When he arrived at the Hotel Suites, he had money and cigarettes with him.  He then was immediately arrested.

He admitted to Officers that he was there to meet with two 16 year olds, that he knew it was wrong.  We got involved in the case because these 2 charges each carried a range of 7 to 21 years in prison per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3212. Because they were 2 charges, the sentences had to be run consecutively to each other.  This means that his minimum exposure was 14 years in prison.  Because of Mr. C’s acceptance of responsibility, combined with the fact that the photos used in the ad were girls who appeared to be over 18, we were able to secure an offer to Pandering with Probation and 15 days in jail with work furlough/release.

Felony Child Prostitution (with Prior Felony Conviction) Reduced to Pandering with Probation and 15 Days in Jail – State v. Mr. K (DMC No. 13115) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-113198):  Mr. K responded to an ad on Backpage.com for an escort.  The police claimed that there was a phone conversation in which he agreed to pay $60 for sex.   However, no phone recordings were ever produced.

The police did have text conversations in which he asked how old the undercover Officer was, and the undercover Officer said “16”. He then asked if she was working for the “cops” and asked for a real picture.  They made arrangements to meet the next day in downtown Phoenix.  During a text conversation the next day, again it was confirmed that $60 would be the price for “regular sex”.  He then met her downtown and was immediately arrested. The original charge had a range of 7 to 21 years in prison if convicted.  Because of Mr. K’s prior conviction, the amount in prison on the minimum end was even higher.  We were able to produce the Psycho-Sexual Risk Evaluation to the Prosecutor showing that Mr. K was not a risk to re- offend.  In addition, because of lost recording of the alleged conversations, the State ran the risk of having a Willetts instruction presented at trial which could potentially cost them the case. Because of all of this, they agreed to extend an offer of simple Pandering with Probation and zero days in jail. Also, Mr. K was not required to register as a sex offender.

Felony Child Prostitution Reduced to Pandering with Probation & Zero Days in Jail – State v. Mr. W (DMC No. 12864) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-005348):  Mr. W responded to an escort ad on Backpage.com.  The ad stated that the girl was 22 years old and contained a photograph of a fully developed woman.  When he responded via text, the woman turned out to be an undercover officer posing as a 16 year old girl.  She stated that she wanted Mr.  W to bring her cigarettes, because she had lost her fake ID.  They also discussed various sex acts.

When he arrived at the hotel room, he gave the undercover Officer cigarettes and $100.  He then discussed various sex acts.  The undercover Officer went into the bathroom to “freshen up”, and then other Officers barged into the room and arrested Mr. W.

He was charged with Child Prostitution, which carried a range of 7 to 21 years in prison.  If convicted, he also would have to register as a sex offender.  We were able to show the Prosecutor that Mr. W did not actually believe the undercover Officer was underage, and once he saw her, this was confirmed.  If he would have thought she was underage, he would have immediately turned around, left the cigarettes with the girl and left the room.  The undercover Officer was actually 28 years of age.  Because the Prosecutor risked losing a trial, they agreed to offer a charge of Pandering with 2 years of Probation and zero days in jail.  Also, there was no requirement to register as a sex offender.

Felony Solicitation of Prostitution Reduced to Pandering with Probation and 15 Days in Jail – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 11964) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2013-457971):

Mr. M was on a local website and was engaged in a conversation with an undercover Officer posing as a prostitute.  She informed him that she was “almost 17”, and that her fake ID wouldn’t get her cigarettes.  They negotiated various sex acts and he was to bring the cigarettes to a local motel. Once he got there, he had a conversation with the undercover Agent and put a $100 cash on the night stand and indicated the sex acts that he wanted.  Undercover Officers then entered the room and placed him under arrest.

Due to the fact that the Detective was actually 29 years old, and looked 29 years old when he walked into the hotel room, we were able to show that he did not believe the person was actually 16 years old.  It was his intent to turn around and walk out of the room if the prostitute actually looked under age.  We demonstrated that it is common for prostitutes to understate their age in order to attract younger men.  In addition, the fact that she was posing as a prostitute on the website “backpage.com”, it did not appear that the police had entirely clean hands in the matter.  Ultimately, we secured an offer to Pandering with 15 days in jail.  Originally, Mr. M was facing 7 to 21 years in prison.

Felony Child Prostitution, (2 Counts) Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation & (4 Counts) Felony Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation Reduced to Solicitation to Commit Child Abuse with Probation and 120 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v Mr. L (DMC No. 13100) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-160156):

Mr. L was on an internet chat room when he began conversations with a girl he believed to be 16 years old.  In reality, a Chandler Detective was pretending to be the 16 year old. Mr. L was 42 years old at the time, and began having sexually explicit conversations with the undercover Detective.  During those conversations, Mr. L admitted that he knew he could get in trouble because of her age and his age. He also asked for sexually explicit photographs from the Detective, and he allegedly sent pictures of his penis. They then made arrangements to meet at a gas station and he was asked if he could bring $75 dollars, some Mountain Dew and condoms to give to what he thought was a 16 year old girl.  When he pulls up at the gas station he is immediately arrested and is found to have the $75 dollars, the condoms, Mountain Dew and the cell phones in which he was communicating with the Detective.  When Mr. L was interviewed, he admitted to everything.

We were able to show that the photos found on the cell phones could not match as identifiers to link him directly to the photos. We also argued that the $75 dollars was not directly being used to pay her for sex, as they had already agreed to have sex prior to that conversation.  We stated it could be construed that the money was merely a gift, along with the Mountain Dew.  Ultimately, we were able to convince the prosecution to reduce the charges to Solicitation, and Mr. L was sentenced to Probation with 120 days in jail with work furlough/release.  He was originally facing the possibility of 7 to 21 years in prison.

CONVICTION REVERSED/CASE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE & ARREST RECORD CLEARED | ATTEMPTED CHILD PROSTITUTION – State v. Mr. M (DMC Case #10310)

Mr. M. pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Child Prostitution. Despite the fact that Mr. M. was adamant during the change of plea proceedings that he did not know the alleged victim was under the age of 18, the Court accepted his pleas of guilty and sentenced Mr. M. to five (5) years of supervised probation. Along with the probation term, Mr. M. was required to serve one (1) year in the Maricopa County Jail and was mandated to register as a sex offender, a lifetime requirement. During the time that Mr. M. was serving his one year jail sentence, he retained the services of DM Cantor in order to file a Petition for Post Conviction Relief, pursuant to Rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. Our firm filed this petition with the sentencing judge on Mr. M.’s behalf, arguing that the crime of child prostitution is not a strict liability offense and given Mr. M.’s clear statements that he did not know that the alleged victim was under the age of 18, the conviction should be reversed based on an insufficient factual basis. After this request was denied by the sentencing judge, we took the issue to the Court of Appeals by filing a Petition for Review of the Superior Courts Denial of Post Conviction Relief. After review of the pleadings, the Court of Appeals and the State agreed with our position that there was not a sufficient factual basis to support the guilty pleas and thus, the conviction was reversed and the case was remanded back to the Superior Court for a new trial. Once remanded, and based on the arguments set forth in the post conviction pleadings, the State filed a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, which was granted by the Court. After this dismissal, our firm was successful in having Mr. M.’s arrest record cleared after we filed a Motion to Clear Mr. M.’s Arrest Record pursuant to A.R.S. §13-4051.

 

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