Mother of man arrested in prostitution sting says her son was set up - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Mother of man arrested in prostitution sting says her son was set up

The mother of a man arrested in an undercover prostitution ring claims her son was set up by Memphis police.

"I think it's a whole bunch of hooey," said Kathryn Sowell.

Her son, Randall Sowell, was one of 50 men caught in an undercover sting on Lamar Avenue and charged with patronizing prostitutes.

Those charged included two on-duty MLG&W employees in a utility truck, an off-duty Memphis firefighter, and Randall Sowell -- who had his 7-year-old daughter with him while soliciting a prostitute.

The incident occured on his daughter's birthday. Her new bicycle was in the back seat of Sowell's car.

According to police, Sowell exited his car and approached undercover officers posing as prostitutes.

Kathryn Sowell said her son was joking with undercover officers and was not trying to hire a hooker.

"She told him $150 and he asked her, 'what?' I think it was a trick to catch folks to see if somebody would proposition somebody," Kathryn Sowell said.

Police confiscated Randall Sowell's car, along with the vehicles of the other men charged.

"He's upset. He's really upset he knows the car is gone everything is gone," said Kathryn Sowell.

Following his arrest, Sowell's young daughter was taken to a relative's home. He faces possible jail time.

The arrests made on Lamar were within one mile and a half of a school, which makes the charge a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the men face a mandatory seven days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and the loss of their vehicles.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.

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