Pair seeks lower bail in prostitution allegation
A South Lake Tahoe couple accused of pandering in prostitution sought lower bails Friday, claiming they were unemployed community college students who couldn’t afford to hire lawyers.
East Fork Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert appointed lawyers to represent Sarah Danielle Groves, 21, and Fonzie Frank Preader, 33, but refused to reduce their bails.
They were arrested Wednesday by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Street Enforcement Team investigators with the assistance of the FBI.
Preader was jailed on $25,000 bail and Groves on $5,000 bail.
Each has been charged with pandering, a felony offense. The criminal complaint states they employed or transported females for prostitution.
A tearful Groves told Gilbert she had a 13-month-old son whom she left with a neighbor.
“I have no family,” she said. “I ask for a reduced bail or an OR (own recognizance release) to get care for my son.”
Groves said she had never been in jail before. She said she was an unemployed community college student, and had job interviews set up.
Preader also asked for lower bail, claiming he was a full-time student at Lake Tahoe Community College and had worked full time at Heavenly ski resort before he became disabled.
Prosecutor Karen Dustman, citing the seriousness of the offenses, asked that the bail stand.
Gilbert told the suspects to bring the matter up Tuesday when they appear in Tahoe Township Justice Court before Judge Richard Glasson.
If they bail out, Gilbert ordered the suspects to have no contact with each other or the unidentified woman who was involved in the illegal transaction.
The arrests were the result of a lengthy investigation into an illegal prostitution ring the couple was allegedly operating as an adult business called “Sarah’s VIP Girls.”
The sheriff’s office received information in October from a confidential source that solicitation of prostitution may be occurring in the casino core of Stateline.
On Wednesday, an adult entertainment agreement was arranged through Sarah’s VIP Girls. Investigators were at a Stateline casino hotel room when the female adult entertainer arrived to perform her services. She was taken into custody after offering sexual services for money.
Preader and Groves were arrested for allegedly offering and arranging prostitution services through Sarah VIP Girls.