[Note: I wrote this post primarily because conflicting and erroneous information was being posted elsewhere regarding Gene Emerson's arrest, summons and sentence for soliciting a prostitute. I wanted to provide people with well researched facts and put the story in its proper legal context. The story must also be put in its proper spiritual context. I will do that in the future.]
The Virginia Uniform Summons given to Gene Emerson at the time of his arrest for soliciting a prostitute can be found here. The Judge’s order to be tested for HIV and hepatitis C can be found here. These documents are available to the public as a matter of record. I have blacked out Emerson’s social security number.
Below are some addtional links and explanations.
Detective N. Necolettos of the Chesterfield County Police Department arrested Emerson on May 29, advised him of his Miranda rights, and gave him a summons to appear in court for a hearing on June 9.
Necolettos is also referred to as the Complainant in the online case information. He is male. He was not the undercover agent (i.e. decoy) propositioned by Emerson.
Emerson’s online case information can be found here. Enter Chesterfield General District Court under Court. Enter Eugene D. Emerson under Traffic/Criminal and Name Search.
The arrest occurred at 3 pm on Friday, May 29 in Room 505 of the La Quinta Motel on 1301 Huguenot Road in Midlothian, VA.
He was arraigned on June 9 but his trial was “continued” (postponed) until July 9. On that day, he appeared before Judge Keith Nelson Hurley with his prostitution-solicitation attorney, Debra D. Corcoran. Her website is here and says in part:
“It is not uncommon for law enforcement to use undercover officers to pose as prostitutes in order to catch potential solicitors, or “johns.” There is much controversy surrounding these practices as they may be considered entrapment based on circumstances. With a seasoned Richmond solicitation attorney from our firm, you can stand up for yourself in court with decisive evidence and a strong case representing your rights.”
In the left hand column of the summons, you will notice the Judge marked “guilty” under “the accused pleaded.” You will also notice that Detective Necolettos added a note, “Alford.” That stands for an Alford plea. See here. It means Emerson did not admit guilt but he did admit the court had enough evidence to find him guilty for the solicitation of prostitution.
Emerson did not come clean before Judge Hurley. He lied. He also used this legal tactic so he could tell Kingsway Community Church on August 8 that he was innocent of all criminal wrong doing while accusing the police of wrong doing.
Matthew Williams, interim lead pastor, reinforced Emerson’s deception. He put out this written statement on August 9. He added the word “illegal” in his verbal announcement to the church on the same day.
“Last month, Gene was found guilty in Chesterfield County Court of soliciting a prostitute. To this day, he continues to maintain that he is innocent of any [illegal or] illicit activity, though he has humbly acknowledged a significant lapse in judgement regarding his conduct throughout the situation. While we respect the courts as an authority established by God, we know they are not perfect. And in light of his claim of innocence, we support his right to consider taking further legal action.”
The “Alford plea” meant nothing to the Judge because the evidence was overwhelming. He found Emerson “guilty as charged” and then imposed the following sentence. Emerson could have been fined $2,500 and jailed for 12 months if given the maximum sentence.
1. A fine of $150.00
2. A “jail sentence of 60 days with 60 days suspended conditioned upon being of good behavior and keeping the peace.” That means if Emerson is rearrested and found guilty for solicitation or other crimes while on probation, the suspended 60 days in jail can be imposed upon him retroactively. Additional sentences would also follow.
3. Probation for 3 years. The online case information says there is no probation but that information is incorrect according to a Clerk of the Court. This summons, signed by the Judge Hurley, is the official document of record. Emerson does not have a probation officer. He was released on his own recognizance.
4. HIV and hepatitis C testing for obvious reasons.
Emerson was also fingerprinted and paid $121.57 in court fees.
You will also noticed a reference to “Appeal Bond $” of “500- P/R” on the bottom center of the page. If Emerson had appealed his sentence, which he did not, and then failed to show up for the appeal since he was released on his own recognizance, he would have been charged $500. P/R stands for personal recognizance.