Sonoma County authorities' changing views toward prostitution

Just down the hill from some of Santa Rosa's toniest neighborhoods, an Oakland man brought his 20-year-old "girlfriend" last month to rendezvous with an undercover police officer, ostensibly to trade sex for money, authorities said.

Her "boyfriend" carried a loaded handgun purchased mostly with proceeds from an earlier all-night "date," which brought in $800 in exchange for the young woman's submission to repeated and varied sex acts, Santa Rosa police Detective Chris Mahurin said.

When police stopped the man's car behind the Flamingo Hotel on Sept. 11, the young woman's 17-year-old sister was inside. Investigators believe he hoped to lure the teenager into the trade, as well.

The suspect, Mike Lavella Turner, 19, admitted the older sister -- the one who called him "boyfriend" -- was his "ho," Mahurin said. He said he had "taught her what to do."

It's the kind of case local authorities say is far too common in Sonoma County and across the nation: Vulnerable young women, girls and sometimes boys sold for commercial sex by others who profit from their emotional dependence or fear of violence.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View