Good Samaritan Sex Offender


The Chicago Sun-Times tells the story of Erasmo Palacios, who, after dropping off his six-year-old daughter at school, was with his wife Rocio and their 22-year-old daughter, all on their way to breakfast when they saw a woman waving her arms. Thinking she was in distress, they approached her in the car, at which point…

…the woman approached their car, parked outside Manolo?s restaurant, leaned in to the passenger side where Rocio was sitting and asked Erasmo if he wanted oral sex for $20 or sex for $25.

The couple laughed, realizing this wasn?t a woman in distress after all.

But within seconds, Chicago police swarmed the family car, hauling Erasmo Palacios out in handcuffs. He was charged with solicitation of a prostitute.

His daughter, who had just run in to exchange her coffee for a hot chocolate, screamed, while his wife cried in fear.

Eight hours later, Palacios, who has no criminal record, was released from custody. And weeks later, charges against him were dropped.

The police report improbably charged that Palacios solicited sex from the undercover officer, even as his wife sat in the passenger seat, and his daughter was on her way out from getting a beverage. Makes you wonder how many men have been wrongfully arrested for solicitation who didn't have their wives and daughters nearby to vouch for them. Also makes those websites cities put up posting mugshots of suspected (not convicted) johns all the more invidious.

The punchline: Though the charges were dropped, the city seized the family's car under laws allowing the forfeiture of automobiles used in the solicitation of prostitutes. The city won't return the car until the Palacios pay $4,700 in towing and storage fees.