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Rare Prostitution Arrest in Vermont - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rare Prostitution Arrest in Vermont

Alexis Serrano Alexis Serrano

South Burlington, Vermont - September 2, 2008

Police say the first complaint came after midnight from an anonymous tipster at the Liberty Inn & Suites on Shelburne Motel. He reported a parade of men going in and out of room 137, one at a time, visiting a woman dressed suspiciously.

"She was dressed scantily with cowboy boots, that's what we were told," South Burlington Police Sgt. Jamie Mills explained.

South Burlington police went to the motel, and when a man and woman left the room, the man, Travis Cray, 34, of St. Albans, admitted he had purchased prostitution services from the woman, Alexis Serrano, 23, of Shelburne.

We found her picture on her MySpace site.

Police say Cray told them he hooked up with her after he saw her personal ad on Craigslist in the Vermont space for erotic services.

They say he admitted he paid $200.

"They were both charged with prohibited acts; maximum penalty for that is $100," Mills said.

"Well there's a profit margin in there somewhere I guess," said T.J. Donovan, Chittenden County Prosecutor.

Donovan says the misdemeanor offense also includes a potential for up to one year behind bars, but jail time is probably out of the question for a crime that is so rarely charged.

The most recent was 4 years ago when police raided three Chittenden County massage parlors and charged the Korean women employed there with prostitution. But the charges were eventually dismissed.

Donovan says he will prosecute prostitution but he must focus on serious and violent crimes.

"It's a business transaction. It's two consenting adults engaged in a business transaction, obviously a service is provided," Donovan said. "While it is illegal it is certainly not going to be a top priority for our offices."

Police say they had another complaint over the weekend about another woman in another motel and they are still looking into that.

Serrano was cited to appear in court later this month. Police say Cray will be cited to appear in court in December.

We tried to get Serrano's side of the story. We reached her by phone, but she declined comment.

Brian Joyce - WCAX News

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