Gerald Atilus, Julenny Aquino, Michael Kempfer, Mohammed Ahmed, Samuel Yoon and 87 others were arrested in a Polk County, Florida prostitution sting this past week, news sources report. The defendants, who are from various parts of the country, were booked into police custody on an array of charges. Most of these charges involve prostitution and include deriving proceeds from prostitution, aiding and abetting prostitution, and possession of illegal drugs. Information about bail and legal representation for the defendants is slowly forthcoming.
According to reports, the arrests were part of a four-day undercover operation organized by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The operation targeted websites where men and women list and respond to ads for prostitution, reports say. Sources say 92 people were arrested during the operation, including 39 prostitutes, 39 johns, 12 “pimps,” and 2 other people who accompanied the suspects to undercover meeting locations.
Samuel Yoon, one of the defendants, is a 45-year-old youth minister for Holy Cows youth ministry, a New Community Mission Church located in San Leandro, California. Sources say Yoon answered an online advertisement offering a 14-year-old female prostitute. Yoon allegedly traveled to an undercover meeting location intending to have sex with the nonexistent underage girl and was arrested. He is now charged with using a two-way communication device to commit a felony and traveling to meet a minor. Yoon has since bailed out of jail, reports indicate.
Another defendant, 21-year-old Mohammed Ahmed of Illinois, was in South Florida on his honeymoon when he allegedly responded to an online prostitution ad created by police. Ahmed left his wife at his hotel room and allegedly traveled to meet the “prostitute.” Ahmed’s wife was worried when he did not return back to the hotel later that night and reported him missing; police told her that Ahmed had been arrested for possession of marijuana and prostitution. Ahmed has since been released from jail on bail, sources say.
40-year-old Gerald Atilus, of Homestead, also responded to a prostitution ad that police posted, reports say. Police arrested Atilus after he traveled to an arranged meeting location. According to reports, Atilus faces and additional charge of battery, though it is not clear why.
Micheal Kempfer of Orlando was arrested after he allegedly acted as a pimp, transporting a 15-year-old girl to a location where he thought a john was waiting. Kempfer was arrested and remains in police custody on $2,250 bail. Reports did not identify the 15-year-old victim; it is not clear whether she was also arrested.
In other sex crime news, Clermont police are investigating a report by a 24-year-old woman who said a man photographed her while she was using a tanning booth, reports say. Police have not released the identity of the 36-year-old suspect. It is unclear whether he was arrested.
The alleged incident occurred at L.A. Tan of US Highway 50 in Clermont. The victim had been tanning naked in a personal booth and was getting out of the bed when she noticed a hand holding a cellphone dangling over the seven-foot privacy wall to the room. Detectives interviewed the suspect and searched his phone; it is not clear whether they found anything. The phone has apparently been seized for deeper analysis.