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Senior Prostitution Ring Busted at Nursing Home

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on May 15, 2013 8:26 AM

Call it Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Assisted Living: The tale of an alleged senior prostitution ring at a nursing home in Englewood, New Jersey.

A long way from a QVC habit, a 75-year-old man and 66-year-old woman allegedly used crack cocaine and ran a prostitution ring out of their apartments at the low-income Vincente K. Tibbs Senior Citizen Building, NorthJersey.com reports. Currently, residents James Parham and Cheryl Chaney are only facing drug-related charges with sparse details on the undercover sting operation.

With further charges looming and few details on the sting operation, the case might be ripe for an entrapment defense.

What Is Entrapment?

Entrapment is a criminal defense most often claimed in government sting operations that involve drug dealing, bribery, or sex offenses. It occurs when a government agent induces a person to commit a crime that the person otherwise would not have committed.

Chief Arthur O'Keefe of the Englewood police assigned undercover officers to find out which tenants were behind the drug and prostitution reports. If the undercover officers unduly persuaded or encouraged Parham to run the prostitution ring, and he wouldn't have committed the crime otherwise, then that's Nursing-Home-Entrapment Bingo!

However, prosecutors can counter an entrapment defense by showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was predisposed to commit the criminal act before government agents gave him the idea. This is usually proven by showing the defendant's prior criminal conduct similar to the charged crime.

Alleged Confessions

Yet in this case, Chaney had no criminal record, and Parham had a few minor arrests years ago for disorderly conduct and other low-level crimes, according to NorthJersey.com. There's nothing to indicate previous involvement in a prostitution ring. In fact, the nursing home bars anyone with recent drug convictions or a violent criminal history from living in the building.

Fortunately for prosecutors, there's an alleged confession. Parham admitted employing crack-addicted women, as well as a few fellow elderly residents, as sex workers to service his "younger" neighbors in the building, police told NorthJersey.com.

Though there are certain confessions that can't be admitted in court, a voluntary confession is usually enough to fend off an entrapment defense.

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