Kettering woman on trial for promoting prostitution

A Kettering woman in January drove her friend in a blue Astrovan from Englewood to a Dayton townhome where police were waiting as part of a prostitution sting operation.

For that, Aimee Hart, 41, is on trial for promoting prostitution in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. The trial began Thursday afternoon in Judge Gregory Singer’s courtroom.

Hart’s friend, Tiffany Isaacs, had placed an advertisement on backpage.com, calling herself, ‘Heaven’ and agreed during a phone call to have sex for money, Isaacs testified. After an undercover police detective asked Isaacs if she had a condom, she called Hart and went out to the van to get one.

When Isaacs re-entered the townhome, she was arrested for prostitution and Hart was arrested for promoting prostitution, a fourth-degree felony for which, if convicted, Hart would have to register as a sex offender.

Isaacs was initially charged with soliciting for prostitution and possession of criminal tools. However, she pleaded to a lesser charge of possession of cocaine for which she was granted community control.

“She didn’t arrive alone,” prosecutor Franklin Gehres said during opening statements. “She was being driven by the defendant in the defendant’s blue Astrovan.”

Taking the stand in her own defense, Hart said she also had been a prostitute, and that Isaacs only told her she “needed to go get some more money, so she could get some more heroin before she got dope-sick.”

The detective testified that he asked Hart if she was a ‘Madame’ during an interview in which the detective said Hart stated she knew her friend was a prostitute. Isaacs testified that she had done crack cocaine and heroin that day, but that she was not compelled by Hart to complete the “date.”

The promoting prostitution statute states a person must knowingly transport another to facilitate sexual activity for hire.

“She transported her for another reason, a favor, not for sexual activity for hire,” defense attorney Susan Souther told the jury of eight women and four men during opening statements. “I think they can’t meet that burden (of proof). There’s a gap there. There’s a link that’s missing out of this.

“So, with that link being missed, you can not find beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore you must find Aimee Hart not guilty of this crime of promoting prostitution.”

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.