City Settles Granny Prostitution Arrest for $35K

Married granny had never been charged with a crime in her life

By Jennifer Millman
|  Friday, Jan 8, 2010  |  Updated 10:14 AM EDT
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Monica Gonzalez is about to come into some cash.

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Talk about a case of mistaken identity. A Brooklyn grandmother was falsely arrested for prostitution by an officer with a rep for getting sued – and now the city has to pay for his error, according to a published report.

Monica Gonzalez, 41, has been married for more than a decade and never been charged with a crime in her life, according to the Daily News. But one fateful evening, walking to the hospital after suffering an asthma attack in the middle of the night, she was accused of trying to solicit men in Sunset Park and was arrested, the paper reports.

Police officer Sean Spencer, who has already cost the city $80,000 to settle four federal lawsuit against him, told the assistant district attorney that he saw Gonzalez beckon to three men in the park, according to court papers obtained by the News.

He also falsely reported "that he was aware that plaintiff was previously arrested for [prostitution] when the plaintiff had never been arrested for this offense," the papers said.

The case was set to go to trial, but Gonzalez opted to settle instead for a cool $35,000, according to the News.

Spencer acknowledged he messed up, and Patrolmen's Benevolent Association attorney Mitchell Garber told the News that disciplinary actions against him are pending.

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