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CRIMES

The Charge: Inviting for Purposes of Prostitution

The Record: On Oct. 12, Uzona Ukaoma approached an undercover officer posing as a prostitute. “Hey, you looking for a date?” the officer asked. “I have a room at the Embassy Suites. You can meet me there. I charge $50 to fuck.” Ukaoma agreed to meet “the prostitute” and expressed satisfaction with the price. “You have a condom?” the officer asked. “No,” Ukaoma responded. “OK, I think I have one. We will figure something out,” the officer said. Then, Ukaoma was arrested. (He was familiar with this experience, having been arrested for soliciting oral sex for $25 in late July 2006.)

Convicted: 11/9/07

PLEAS FOR MERCY

Lawyer: Not much support here. “This is Mr. Ukaoma’s first conviction for soliciting for sexual purposes,” says lawyer Nathan Silver. “However, it’s not his first case. He had another case last year for sexual solicitation, and yet he went through the John School program,” says Silver, referring to the District’s program on the dangers of prostitution offered primarily to first-time offenders. Here, Judge Rafael Diaz interjects: “Wait, he paid $300, and he didn’t even learn anything?” Affirmative, says Silver. “And it’s very unfortunate because he’s a young man who goes to college. He’s been at the University of the District of Columbia for about two years. He’s still enrolled there. He’s still in school.”

Defendant: Apologizes quickly and quietly

Judge: Diaz is not pleased. “If you get arrested again for [soliciting sex], it’s an indication that—at least from this side—you don’t care. That’s the message you’re sending.” Diaz warns that a future offense could bring jail time or a heavy fine. “With you being a college student, I suspect that you might be on limited income, although you may be saving your money for that once-a-year hit.”

THE VERDICT

The Sentence: One year of unsupervised probation; violation could trigger 60-day jail sentence.