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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Shabby Work, Woman Tells Phoenix Cops

PHOENIX (CN) - A woman claims Phoenix police charged her with prostitution and threw her in jail after a detective wrongly identified her as a woman who advertised her services on an erotic Web site. She says she spent nearly 2 months locked up on the false charges, and had to wear an electronic monitor and follow a curfew for 3 more months until the state dropped its charges.

Victoria Aguayo claims police Det. Christy Hein misidentified her as a woman advertising sex services online under the name "Tia." Aguayo says she does not resemble "Tia," who has a tattoo that she does not.

Nonetheless, Aguayo says, she was arrested in August 2008 and charged with illegal control of an enterprise, illegal participation in an enterprise, money laundering and prostitution. She claims that Det. Hein falsely claimed that Aguayo had been seen doing money drops for Desert Divas, the alleged prostitution ring, and had been seen performing "meet-and-greets" with potential clients.

Aguayo claims that Maricopa County and its Deputy Attorney AnnieLaurie Van Wie prosecuted her without "conducting an adequate investigation and when the evidence did not support a criminal prosecution."

Aguayo was incarcerated until October 2008, when she was released on supervised release and was forced to wear "an electronic monitoring device, abide by a restrictive curfew, and submit to drug and alcohol monitoring" until the state dropped the charges in January 2009.

Aguayo seeks damages for civil rights and privacy violations, wrongful prosecution, negligence and emotional distress. She is represented by Larry Debus with Debus, Kazan & Westerhausen.

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