Palm Harbor Man Sentenced For Online Prostitution
James Perdue, 62, has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in helping underage girls prostitute themselves through online ads.
A Palm Harbor man has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in helping underage girls prostitute themselves through online ads, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
According to the Times:
James Perdue, 62, had pleaded guilty to charges including procuring a minor for prostitution, child abuse, and possession of illegal drugs. He was sentenced last month and has been handed over to the Florida Department of Corrections, according to his lawyer, J. Jason Bangos of Clearwater.
Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies said Perdue helped two minor girls advertise sexual services on a website. He was arrested in May and accused of operating a prostitution ring involving teenage runaways out of his ninth street home.
Perdue had also been charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His lawyer said Perdue has made poor choices due to a drug habit, telling the Times that "the guy smokes meth. That's his bag; that's his deal. It affected his judgment."
Two other Palm Harbor residents were also arrested and charged in connection with the case.
Mikki Lightsey Pitts, 50, is awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a child, the Times reports. Detectives say she taught the girls how to word the ads and suggested prices for services and hotel locations. She is also accused of using her credit card to pay for the online ads and let the teens use her clothes and makeup for their appointments.
Michael Bowers, 19, pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a child, a misdemeanor and has been sentenced to a year in jail, according to the Times. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in jail, according to court records. Bowers was accused of taking photos of the teens to be used in their online escort ads and providing security for the girls on their appointments.