Sarasota High School Student Charged With Organizing Prostitution Ring

Alexa Nicole De Armas, 17, was arrested Friday and charged with human trafficking of a person younger than 18, a felony. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)
Alexa Nicole De Armas, 17, was arrested Friday and charged with human trafficking of a person younger than 18, a felony. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office)

A 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.

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SOURCE: Herald-Tribune
Christi Womack

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