Prostitute claims hurt dancer
A Fargo woman arrested this winter in a prostitution sting said she's fighting to clear her name. Jessica Lynn Jones, one of two exotic dancers arrested in the Feb. 11 sting, spoke Friday from the Cass County Jail about her case and the public ba...
A Fargo woman arrested this winter in a prostitution sting said she's fighting to clear her name.
Jessica Lynn Jones, one of two exotic dancers arrested in the Feb. 11 sting, spoke Friday from the Cass County Jail about her case and the public backlash she's felt from it.
"I've got nothing but harassment," she said about her time behind bars and while out on the street on bail. "They judge me before they have a chance to talk to me."
Jones, 19, said she's pushing her case to trial, even though a jury last month convicted the other woman arrested in the sting. Miranda Lee Fahey, another Fargo 19-year-old, received a 12-month deferred sentence and fines and fees totaling $675. Jones said she did not know Fahey.
Jones had a change-of-plea hearing scheduled this past Monday, but she said she never asked for it.
"I'm not going to plead guilty to something I didn't do," she said.
Her public defender, Steve Mottinger, said he expected to have a plea agreement worked out with the prosecutor in time for the hearing, but it never happened. Now, he said, he's ready to take Jones to trial.
A police report says Jones took $70 from an agent during the sting, right after she told him: "Just the oral and the full body massage ... I usually take 75, but I'll take 50."
That's when officers entered the room to arrest her, according to the police report.
Jones said Friday she's never performed a sex act for money, and she didn't intend to do so with the officer. Jones said she was talking dirty as part of the performance.
"I think that's (sex for money) disgusting, personally," she said.
Jones said she started dancing about four months after she turned 18, partly because she had been curious about the work and partly because it paid well.
"It's honest (work) if you're honest about it," she said.
Customers often ask up front if they're going to have sex, she said. Jones said she had never said yes, but she said she didn't know if other area dancers did the same.
Last week, Jones pleaded guilty to felony possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, and a judge sentenced her to 18 months in prison. Her trial date for the misdemeanor prostitution charge has not been set.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Forster at (701) 241-5538