Strange criminal arrest: Solicitation of spitting
According to a LA Times article, a Ventura man was busted by undercover police officers for allegedly hiring teenage boys to spit in his face, curse at him and slap him.
The accused, Charles Hersel, is charged with “child annoyance” charges. The allegation is that he solicited Westlake High School boys online to essentially abuse him and get paid.
Hersel was taken down by undercover cops when he paid a teenager 31-bucks to spit in his face.
After years of practicing criminal law, most lawyers will never see a charge of “child annoyance” being prosecuted. The question for many is whether with California’s budget crisis, this is a crime truly worth prosecuting and spending precious local resources on.
Some see behavior like Hersel’s as a gateway to child molestation or worse. Others aren’t convinced, and see it as a cry for help from a sick human being. Still others think that any teenage boy who would agree to spit in a man’s face for money should be looked at further.
“All that police effort for what will probably amount to a small fine and some counseling,” said Florida Criminal Defense Attorney John Musca. “It really shows you where this police department’s priorities are.”
When people wonder how we got ourselves into the state and local budget crisis that threatens the justice system, they may cite examples like this case, and the recent case involving arrests at the Lehigh Pub.
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