Name change for prostitution charge in Seattle brings errors in background checks

A 24-year-old former Seattle man did everything a judge ordered him to do after he took a plea deal last year and was convicted of the misdemeanor crime of sexual exploitation.

Arrested by Seattle police during a prostitution sting at a motel on Aurora Avenue North, he received a deferred sentence and agreed to a variety of conditions, including attending a six-hour class for sex buyers, serving 80 hours of community service, providing a DNA sample and undergoing an HIV test.

“I took the class and it really opened my eyes to what some of the women go through. It’s scary to be in their shoes,” the man, who now lives in Arizona, said of women involved in prostitution.

He spoke to The Seattle Times on the condition his name not be published. Though he’s fulfilled his sentence requirements, the 24-year-old is paying an even steeper price that was wholly unexpected: His criminal-background check erroneously shows he’s been convicted of a sex-related felony, making it virtually impossible for him to get a job. FULL ARTICLE

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