1. 23-year-old Cassandra Zepeda, unknown address; On May 16, 2017, Zepeda arrived at the undercover location to have sex with an undercover detective in exchange for $400. Zepeda posted an ad online offering her services, and the detective answered the ad. During a search of her property, detectives found used needles, pills, and baggies with drug residue. Zepeda told detectives she has been placing prostitution ads online for over a year, and that she has sex for money to support her addiction to pain pills. She told detectives that Robert Heard drove her to the location, and to approximately 10 previous "appointments" where she prostituted herself, and that he would get $ in exchange for driving her on this occasion. Her criminal history includes previous arrests for: possession of cocaine, possession of prescription drugs without a prescription, possession of marijuana, possession of alprazolam (Xanax), petit theft, VOP, and possession of paraphernalia.
She was booked into the Polk County jail and charged with:
But I can also see what Susan is saying in her response piece. Decriminalizing the act absolutely makes it all the easier for predators to victimize helpless children as she describes. This is a seemingly intractable problem and I’m not sure what the best answer would be. It might start with a more aggressive and well funded program to take such underage prostitutes off the streets and into some sort of long term shelter (rather than jail or juvenile detention) and find a way to assure them that their cooperation in apprehending their abusers who put them on the streets won’t result in retribution from the criminals they’re caught up with.