Court error cited as basis for overturning Monica Jones‘ April 2014 conviction under Arizona’s controversial “manifestation of prostitution” law.
Jones announced that her conviction had been vacated on Twitter Monday morning.
Jones was found guilty of “manifesting prostitution” after she accepted a ride from an undercover Phoenix police officer during a May 2013 anti-prostitution sting. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Her attorneys sought to have Jones’s conviction overturned and the anti-prostitution statute struck down.
An official statement is expected…
UPDATE (from BuzzFeed):
Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen found a lower court had denied Jones a fair trial by doubting her credibility and sent the case back for a possible retrial.
Judge McClennen avoided broad constitutional questions about whether the law enables illegal profiling or stifles free speech, instead ruling on the validity of Jones’s previous conviction in Phoenix Municipal Court. In that decision, a judge had discounted the credibility of Jones’s testimony — finding she testified in her own defense because she risked being punished.
But McClellen squarely rejected that logic in an order signed Jan. 22 and filed today with a court clerk for Maricopa County: “For the trial court to have concluded Defendant was not credible and thus guilty because she was facing conviction and sentence deprived Defendant of a fair trial. The conviction must therefore be reversed and remanded to a new trial.”