Thursday, July 17, 2008

WTF? Next thing you know he'll be charged with an attempted assault with a dead weapon

Thank you Judge for being intelligent enough to realize the apparent miscarriage of justice which was occurring.

For heaven's sake folks out there in Manatee County get a grip.

Judge: Bradenton Man, 94, Entrapped In Prostitution Sting

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

BRADENTON - A 94-year-old man whose arrest in a prostitution sting here caused an international buzz will not be prosecuted. A judge ruled Tuesday that Frank Milio was a victim of entrapment.

Milio, who has dementia, was unable to get into a care facility while his case was pending.

The undercover Manatee County Sheriff's Office detective on the street corner that afternoon in November took 30 steps to go chat with Milio, who authorities say had honked his car horn at the woman to get her attention.

Milio, who turned 94 this month, stopped his car in a parking lot about 60 feet away from the woman, who was standing in an area where authorities regularly set up stings to nab johns. Milio did not flash his lights or say anything to lure the woman over. The woman opened his passenger side door and leaned inside.

"Do you want to party tonight?" the woman asked Milio, who replied that he wanted to think about it for another 15 to 20 minutes. The officer asked about money. She asked whether Milio wanted sex. Milio replied: "Huh?" Milio eventually offered to pay for oral sex.

Manatee County Judge George K. Brown Jr. weighed in Tuesday, tossing the misdemeanor case, in a six-page order that questions the extent to which the detective controlled the nature and direction of the sexual conversation.

"This particular 93-year-old man was encouraged and/or enticed to proceed with the police officer's direction of conversation," Brown wrote.

For Milio's attorney, Donald E. Grieco, the judge's decision vindicated an elderly man whose arrest made news across the nation and landed in the late-night monologues of David Letterman and Jay Leno. The Drudge Report picked up the Herald-Tribune's story on the case.
Milio, the attorney said, is an old man who enjoyed flirting with a pretty woman. Milio never had any intention to pay for sex.

Grieco did not blame the authorities, saying he applauds the efforts police take to combat prostitution. But the attorney criticized the state's decision to file a charge against Milio, who lives alone in Bradenton and suffers from dementia.

"I'm very disappointed how the state attorney's office handled this case," Grieco said Tuesday. The facts, he said, did not support prosecution.

In June, Grieco filed court papers challenging Milio's arrest, and Brown presided over a hearing in which a video of the sting was played on a giant screen in court.

A prosecutor, Jared M. Monahan, said in court that Milio was well aware of what he was saying and requesting. Monahan dismissed the claim that Milio was enticed to offer money for sex. Milio could have driven away at any point, he said.

The judge's order, however, says the sequence of actions and conversation by the undercover officer "carried with it a substantial risk" that Milio would commit a crime.

After Milio's arrest, prosecutors declined to file a charge against another elderly Bradenton man accused in a solicitation sting in Bradenton -- his second charge in 20 years.

That 93-year-old man promised to return several hours later with $30 to seal the deal. A prosecutor said the state was unable to prove the man intended to return.

The pending charge against Milio blocked him from getting into an assisted living facility, Grieco said. That now may change.

"I am happy for Frank and his daughter that they can finally move on with his life," Grieco said. "He deserves it. Justice was served, in the end, for Frank."