Austin TX Lawyer Charged With Prostitution During Nationwide Sex Trafficking Sting

Judson Sutherland, a founding partner of Hajjar, Sutherland & Peters LLP, was charged with prostitution on June 19, 2014 during an undercover operation, conducted by the Austin Police Department, to identify and arrest individuals involved in the solicitation and sex trafficking of minors. Bond for Sutherland was set at $2,000.

A high-profile lawyer, Sutherland is the founder and board member of J Black’s Feel Good Kitchen, located on West 6th Street in Austin, TX. He also was named an ‘Austin Under 40’ Award Finalist earlier this year for his professional achievements while practicing law.

37-year old Sutherland responded to an advertisement posted onto the escort category of a website that is known for its solicitation of prostitution services. The online ad was posted by an undercover APD officer. Sutherland called the number on the advertisement, spoke with the undercover officer, and arranged a meeting. After arriving to the meeting place, Sutherland made an agreement to pay $60 for sexual intercourse with the officer.

The Austin TX lawyer was arrested and charged with prostitution, which is a misdemeanor. Although Sutherland was one of seven individuals arrested during the APD undercover operation, his arrest warrant does not reflect any involvement or participation in child sex trafficking.

Following the misdemeanor charge, Sutherland stepped down as partner of his firm. A new name, and possible new partner, for the high-ranking law firm has yet to be determined.

The misdemeanor charge was made shortly after the Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted a nationwide sweep to recover children who have been forced into the illegal trade of humans for sexual exploitation, otherwise known as child sex trafficking. The four-day sting was called Operation Cross Country VIII. FBI officials recovered 168 children. Of the children recovered, 3 were from San Antonio, 4 from Houston, and another 3 children were from Austin.

According to Ashley Goudeau of KVUE News, child sex trafficking occurs in the most likely places. “Hotel rooms, truck stops and massage parlors are the most common places children are victimized and working as prostitutes according to the FBI,” Goudeau reports, “Agents say prostitution rings target special events such as F1 or music festivals to get clients, making Austin a prime target.”

Prostitution is a serious crime and can lead to a great deal of suffering for those entangled in human trafficking. If you’ve found yourself or a loved one caught up in this dangerous world, we can help by recommending good attorneys and helping you navigate the justice system. If you’re in need of a bail bondsman to get out of the Williamson or Travis County Jail, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our agents focus on providing clear, concise, and friendly assistance to all of our clients. Call 1(800) 766-7002 for more information.­­