An 87-year-old man who was found guilty of soliciting an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute has had the charges dropped against him by a forgiving judge, who has insisted that his complete lack of other convictions means he should be given a pass.
Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth let off Howard Klein and then told the court on Tuesday, September 1, “What would be the purpose in prosecuting him? He wouldn’t and shouldn’t go to jail and 87 years without involvement in the criminal justice system has, in my opinion, earned him a pass.”
According to M Live, Forsyth went on to add, “I could see no compelling reason to continue to prosecute Mr. Klein on the ticket he was issued for accosting and soliciting. He is 87-years old with absolutely no criminal record. In addition, I am told he struggles to some degree with dementia.” Forsyth also added that he didn’t believe that Klein was a danger to society.
Howard Klein of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was arrested by officials and charged with the offence at around 10 p.m. on June 26. Howard Arthur Klein traveled to Broadway Street NW and Leonard Avenue in order to try and solicit the prostitute at a location that wasn’t far from his home. The website also speculated that Klein is probably the oldest person ever to be charged with this offence.
Speaking to 24 Hour News 8 via Wood TV, Howard Klein insisted that his defence for approaching the woman was that he thought he recognised her from church. And while the judge didn’t quite believe this explanation, he decided to be lenient with Klein, even though he could have convicted him and then sentenced him to a maximum spell of 93 days in the Kent County Jail.
Klein was originally arrested for the offense alongside two other men and two women. However, Klein was the only person who wasn’t booked in the Kent County Jail because of his age. Police decided that instead of taking him into custody, he would be arraigned.
After news of Klein’s arrest was released, it was reported that the unmarried pensioner had no previous criminal record to note of with Kent County. On August 6th, Klein pled not guilty to a Kent County Prosecutor’s Office representative. This then led to the case going before a judge, which is where Forsyth decided to let Klein off on the prostitution charges.
[Image via Matthew Benoit/Shutterstock]