A man from New Mexico, United States, was arrested after he agreed to pay a police officer – who was working undercover as a prostitute – with a hamburger.
Dominic Calderon was arrested on Tuesday after he approached the woman on a bicycle, believing her to be a sex worker. He was negotiating terms and a price with the undercover officer when he said he wouldn’t have enough money until the following Friday, and so asked for her phone number.
The undercover police officer then spotted that 36-year-old Calderon was carrying a ‘to-go’ bag from fast food restaurant Chili’s.
According to the court report, the officer then asked Calderon what was in his takeaway bag. He told her it was a hamburger, to which she responded by saying that the fee for her services could be the food. When Calderon agreed he was arrested.
Police ran checks on the man and found he was a sex offender who was on probation. His status was confirmed by the probation office, after which his probation was revoked and then consequently upgraded to a felony warrant,
The hamburger was tagged as evidence.
New Mexico outlaws the purchase or selling of sexual acts. Also, it is illegal to promote or profit from prostitution, which would include actions such as pimping.
In the state, anyone that commits prostitution by selling or accepting sexual acts in exchange for funds will be arrested. It is important to understand that ‘sexual acts’ are not limited to sexual intercourse; instead, this term involves any sexual act, including oral acts or masturbation. Under New Mexico Statute Section 30-9-2, only those that sell sex are convicted of prostitution.
There is a separate law and criminal charge for those who purchase sex.
It’s not confirmed whether Calderon had an attorney.
If officers entice a person in to committing a crime just to arrest them, an attorney may succeed with an entrapment defence.
The law in New Mexico also states that prostitution is a crime, as well as soliciting. This means engaging in a sexual act for payment – the payment does not necessarily have to be cash, though. As long as there is an understanding that an exchange of sexual acts for payment will occur, the person offering the sexual acts will be charged with prostitution.