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Virginia Sex Crime Prostitution Sexual Intercourse Violation Attorneys Richmond City

Virginia Sex Crime Prostitution Sexual Intercourse Violation Attorneys Richmond City

MARK TAILOR v. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

Facts:

On June 4, 1998, at about 1:15 a.m., appellant, driving a Dodge conversion van, stopped in a travel lane near the corner where Jakarti (Detective worked as a decoy for the investigation of prostitution) stood. Appellant lowered the passenger side window. Appellant asked Jakarti for “A blow job.” Jakarti asked $20 for that, Jakarti then told appellant to meet her in a nearby alley. Appellant did not ask Jakarti to enter the van, and appellant did not drive into the alley. Instead, appellant drove out of the area. The police stopped and arrested him a short distance away.

The Circuit Court of the City of Richmond (Virginia), convicting him of using a vehicle to promote prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-349. Appellant, appeals his conviction.

Virginia Sex Crime Prostitution Sexual Intercourse Violation Attorneys Richmond City

Virginia Sex Crime Prostitution Sexual Intercourse Violation Attorneys

Issues:
  • Whether the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction?
  • Whether the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to dismiss the charge on the ground of collateral estoppel?

The Court finds that the appellant did not meet Jakarti in the alley as she requested. After conversing with Jakarti, appellant drove away. Appellant did not ask Jakarti to enter the van, and he did not show or give her any money. Although appellant engaged in conversation concerning the exchange of money for a sexual act, there is no evidence of “any substantial act in furtherance thereof.” No act of adultery, fornication or any act in violation of Code § 18.2-361 occurred. The evidence shows at most “the required offer. Proof of the equally essential substantial act is completely lacking.” Moreover, the evidence failed to prove that the van was used to “aid or promote” prostitution.

The Court held that “No “substantial act in furtherance” of prostitution occurred after appellant and Jakarti conversed. Therefore, appellant did not use the vehicle to transport himself to a place “to be used for the purpose of prostitution. Moreover, Appellant did not obtain or bring about for the purpose of illicit sexual intercourse or any act violative of Code § 18.2-361, or give “any information or direction to any person with intent to enable such person to commit an act of prostitution.” No evidence in appellant’s case supports a finding that appellant aided or promoted prostitution. He merely conversed with the detective while he sat in the van, then drove away from the area. He did not ask her to enter the van, and he did not drive into the alley as directed by the detective. Appellant and Jakarti performed no sexual act in the van, and no money exchanged hands in the van. Appellant committed none of the acts described in Edwards where the Court found the defendant aided or promoted prostitution. Therefore, appellant’s actions did not fall within the proscription of Code § 18.2-349.

Conclusion:

This Court finds the evidence insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant violated Code § 18.2-349, this court do not address the collateral estoppel issue. Accordingly, we reverse the conviction and dismiss the charge.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content

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