Based on a recent news article, police in Mobile, AL, have arrested a teenage boy for soliciting sex from a female law enforcement officer posing as a prostitute during a recent sting operation to catch adults buying sex on the street. According to police reports, the female police officer attempted to run the 13-year-old suspect away from the scene, but the child continued to return.
As a Birmingham family law attorney and Alabama divorce lawyer, I know the how much trouble teenagers and pre-teens can get themselves into from time to time. Juveniles like the kid in this situation don't always know the consequences of their actions, which is why the law treats them differently from adults.
While children can get themselves into big trouble by committing serious crimes, usully it's just a case of kids being kids — not that they should be excused, but children typically test the limits of their behavior by going over the line occasionally. As a juvenile defense lawyer, my experience tells me that most kids make mistakes that and should be treated as juveniles, although a smaller percentage truly require an adult-style criminal defense.
In this case, the child was charged with a misdemeanor count of loitering while looking for a prostitute. Even seasoned veterans of the Mobile police department were surprised by news of the arrest — according to new reports, the next-youngest suspect nabbed in the sting was 22 years old.
One patrolman, Officer Christopher Levy, said he had never heard of a juvenile john being arrested. “It sounds very young,” said Levy acting as a spokesman for the Mobile Police Department.
The arrest occurred during a prostitution sting operation that was set up in a residential area earlier in November after citizen complaints started coming in about prostitutes trolling for business around three intersections. An officer playing the part of a hooker noticed a would-be customer looked a little young.
Police reported that the child approached the undercover officer and allegedly propositioned her for sex and the officer tried several times to get the 13-year-old to move on. According to police, the youngster kept returning so she had no choice but to arrest the boy, along with fifteen adults who were arrested on various prostitution and drug-related charges.