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Palmer Found Guilty of Compelling Prostitution

October 28, 2015 - 12:42 PM

MOUNT VERNON – Dennis Palmer, 50, of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Compelling Prostitution, a third-degree felony, on Tuesday after a bench trial before Knox County Court of Common Pleas Judge Otho Eyster.  The offense involves knowingly agreeing to pay a minor to engage in sexual activity. 

Palmer was arrested on May 30 just outside of Mount Vernon when he stopped to make contact with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl after agreeing to pay $60 for sex in an e-mail conversation.  The person Palmer had been e-mailing was in fact a Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy posing as a 15 year old female. 

According to Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville, the evidence introduced at trial showed that Palmer had placed an advertisement on Craigslist offering money for sex.  Knox County Sheriff’s Detective Danial Bobo, who testified at the trial, responded to the advertisement posing as a minor female and engaged in e-mail correspondence for several days before Palmer’s arrest on May 30.  The e-mail transcript set a price, and made it clear that Palmer was seeking sex from a female he believed to be 15 years old, McConville said. 

Detective Bobo’s investigation was assisted by KCSO Detective Lt. Craig Feeney, Det. David Light, Det. James Ferenbaugh, and Mount Vernon Municipal Court Probation Officer Julie Fisher.

After entering the finding of guilty, Judge Eyster ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set Palmer’s sentencing hearing for December 11.

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