What’s the big deal about having a little prostitution on your record?
Down in Orange County (“the O.C.” to you young hipsters), Brittany Ossenfort was arrested for prostitution. Only, it wasn’t actually Ossenfort that was arrested. Rather, it was Richard Phillips, a transgendered man who used to live with the real Ossenfort. Ossenfort said that she lived with Phillips for a year, thinking Phillips was actually a chick the whole time (she knew him as Michelle). Apparently Michelle/Richard started going all Single White Female on Ossenfort, trying to look and dress like her, and even getting a similar tattoo on her hand. Michelle/Richard eventually moved out and Ossenfort only later learned that he was actually a dude, something which she obviously found shocking.
Anyway, when Michelle/Richard was arrested for prostitution, he gave Ossenfort’s name and birthdate as his own. And this is where the story goes from “bizarre” to “you gotta’ love our criminal system.” A spokesperson for the jail said that the booking record cannot be changed – that is, because “Brittany Ossenfort” was the name Phillips gave and which he was booked under, that name stays on the books. Which means that the real Ossenfort has to deal with the fact that background searches are going to turn up a prostitution charge:
Brittany Ossenfort was told she may have to carry papers around with her for years documenting her identity, to prove she wasn’t the one arrested for prostitution.
I’m not the only one who thinks this is utterly ridiculous, right? I mean, why can’t there be something in place within the system that allows for re-booking under someone’s proper identity once it’s determined that they were booked under an alias or stolen identity? Madness.
Also, for the curious, here’s a photo of Ossenfort and Phillips, and there’s definitely a passing resemblance:
(The real Ossenfort is, I hope you can tell, the gal on the left.)