Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

August 9, 2012

3 arrested on prostitution charges in Kokomo

An undercover operation resulted in the arrests

Kokomo — Kokomo police arrested three women, two from Wisconsin and one from Kokomo, late Wednesday on prostitution charges at a Kokomo hotel.

The suspects, Erica Barnes, 23, Kokomo, Chelsea M. Schleicher, 19, Kimberly, Wis., and April Wingo, 24, Rapids, Wis., were all booked on a Class A misdemeanor prostitution charge, Sgt. Tonda Cockrell reported Thursday.

Schleicher and Wingo also were charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge.

The three women were arrested between 8 and 9:30 p.m. at 268 S. 00 East-West, according to KPD arrest reports, which is the listed address for Days Inn.

Cockrell said the arrests stemmed from an undercover investigation into prostitution in Kokomo. The detective said hotel personnel were cooperative with police and were not involved in any criminal activity.

While prostitution isn’t as common in Kokomo as in bigger cities, it does occur, Cockrell said.

“We’ve done this before and were successful,” she said of the undercover work. “We are trying to be proactive in a variety of crimes and we took an opportunity to focus on [prostitution] this week.”

Cockrell said more arrests are expected.

Under state law, prostitution is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The charge is increased to a Class D felony if the suspect has two prior convictions of prostitution. A Class A misdemeanor conviction calls for up to a year in prison and a possible $5,000 fine.

Barnes has been convicted of theft and battery in Howard County, but has no prior prostitution convictions, according to Doxpop, an Indiana online court access service. Wingo and Schleicher have no criminal record in Indiana.

Wingo has had several drug convictions in Wood County, Wis., but no convictions for prostitution, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Schleicher has no criminal record in Wisconsin.

The Drug Task Force asks that anyone with additional information regarding these investigations call the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at 765-456-7017.

• Mike Fletcher, Tribune crime reporter, may be reached at 765-454-8565 or via e-mail at mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com.

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