A 36-year-old doctor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was arrested on Oct. 11, 2016, for what authorities have called human trafficking.
Jonathan David Cohen was taken into custody after a 911 call was placed from his house. When police arrived, they found a 16-year-old runaway girl in Cohen’s home. Allegedly, Cohen arranged for the girl to come to Sioux Falls from her home in Georgia.
The hospital where Cohen works, Sanford Health, has placed him on administrative leave after he was charged with soliciting a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, and engaging in prostitution.
Bail has been set for Cohen at $1 million cash only. Cohen already has an attorney who claims Cohen thought the girl was 20 years old. However, Cohen bought the girl a plane ticket using her birth date, which implies he knew the girl’s real age.
Cohen’s attorney claims the two met on a “sugar daddy” website and that sex was never explicitly discussed, but authorities claim to have evidence that Cohen had already had sex with the girl at the time of his arrest.
In South Dakota, the age of consent is 16 years old. Cohen may have been able to avoid serious criminal charges, as the girl was legally able to consent to sex. Prosecutors for this case are expected to argue that Cohen coerced the girl into interstate travel without the consent of her parents and that he coerced her into having sex with him by promising her a plane ticket home and giving her money to go shopping.
(Article by Jafari Tishomingo)