Sarasota High student charged with running prostitution ring

November 25th, 2014 by Staff

John Michael Mosher, 21, is facing a sexual battery charge.


(Sarasota Herald Tribune) SARASOTA – Sarasota High School student has been charged with organizing a prostitution ring of students from Venice and Riverview high schools.
Alexa Nicole De Armas, 17, was arrested Friday and charged with human trafficking of a person younger than 18, a felony.

At least one act of prostitution took place, police said, leading to the arrest of John Michael Mosher, 21, who reportedly paid $40 and a bottle of liquor to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

A third person will be arrested Tuesday, Venice Police Capt. Tom Mattmuller said.

Police said the ring came to light after four students confided to Venice High School administrators. De Armas and at least one other student concocted the business plan over the summer to prostitute other teenagers for payments of money and alcohol, according to police documents.

“Why pimp out old hoes when I have fresh young hoes I can give up for money?” De Armas wrote in one Facebook exchange to a business partner, adding, “As long as I’m getting paid I’m trafficking all these (expletive deleted).”

According to Venice police, Venice High School resource officers received information about a possible prostitution ring in October. At the same time, they looked into reports of a Riverview High School student’s involvement with Mosher.

Police arrested Mosher on Friday in the 700 block of U.S. 41, Nokomis, and charged him with felony sexual battery on a victim older than 12. He is being held without bail at the Sarasota County jail and was ordered to have no contact with the victim or his co-defendant.

Police allege De Armas arranged for Mosher to have sex with the 15-year-old in a community pool shed near a park off Colonia Lane in Nokomis in August. According to police documents, the victim did not want to participate in the sex act.

“She stated she told Mosher she did not want to have sexual intercourse with him to which he disregarded and forcefully held her against the wall of the pool shed building, restricting her movement and ability to flee,” the report stated.

Mosher, who Mattmuller said has home addresses in both Venice and Nokomis, but was listed on jail documents as homeless, is a dishwasher at a local restaurant.

As detectives investigated the information that the school resource officers received, Mattmuller said, they found out students from other Sarasota County schools were involved.

Police said none of the sexual activities they are investigating happened on school grounds.

Sarasota County school officials will not make a comment because it is an ongoing investigation, said Debbie Tippen of the district’s communications office. She said the district is cooperating with law enforcement.

In early October, four female students approached Venice High administrators and said a male Venice High student and De Armas wanted them to join their prostitution ring, according to police documents.

Students told officers that De Armas coordinated at least three prostitution deals — including the one with the 15-year-old — by using Facebook private messaging.

After Mosher paid for the sex, the police reports said, De Armas and an accomplice began trying to recruit other girls to have sex with clients to gain money and alcohol.

They planned to use some of the money to buy narcotics, according to witness statements to police.

During a police investigation after a search warrant was issued for De Armas’ Facebook account, police said they found conversations between potential business partners, participants and details of how transactions would be made; prices for services included $50 to $70 to perform oral sex and $100 for intercourse with a virgin. They considered a 40 percent profit split for prostitutes.

A message left Monday at De Armas’ home in Sarasota was not returned.

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center CEO Olivia Thomas said victims can receive free and confidential services; those younger than 18 will need parental consent.

“We would love to work with these girls and help them with what they were exposed to,” Thomas said.

Because another arrest is pending, Mattmuller said, police would not comment further until after the third arrest.

EARLIER: After hearing reports of prostitution involving high school students, Venice police arrested two people, a man they said paid to have sex with a 15-year-old girl and a teenager who brokered the girl’s services.

A third person will be arrested Tuesday, Venice Police Capt. Tom Mattmuller said.
According to Venice police Department, Venice High School resource officers received information about possible prostitution in October.

They also looked into reports of a Riverview High School student’s involvement with a man. Police arrested John Michael Mosher, 21, on Friday in the 700 block of U.S. 41.

Alexa Nicole De Armas, 17, a student at Sarasota High School, was arrested Friday and charged with human trafficking of a person younger than 18.

Police said they believe Mosher paid to have sex with the teenager in Nokomis in August.

Mosher, who Mattmuller said has home addresses in both Venice and Nokomis, but was listed on jail documents as homeless, is charged with sexual assault on a victim older than 12. A dishwasher for Fins restaurant at Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice, he is being held without bail at the Sarasota County jail.

Mattmuller said as detectives investigated the information that Venice High School school resource officers received, they found out that students from other Sarasota County schools were involved.

Venice officers said four female students approached Venice High administrators and said a male Venice High student and De Armas wanted them to join their prostitution ring.

Mosher paid $40 and a bottle of liquor to have sex with the 15-year-old in a pool shed near a park on Colonia Lane in Nokomis, according to arrest documents.

Students told officers that De Armas coordinated at least three deals by using Facebook private messaging.

During a police investigation of De Armas’ account, they found conversations between potential business partners, participants and details of how transactions would be made, including prices for services.

Police said none of the activities they are investigating happened on school grounds.
Because another arrest is pending, Mattmuller said the police would not comment further until Tuesday.


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