An Arizona court ruling says it doesn’t violate a defendant’s constitutional rights for a law enforcement officer to pose as a minor during a child prostitution investigation, reports the Associated Press. A three-judge Court of Appeals panel’s unanimous ruling Tuesday says the law barring a defense based on an officer’s pretense of being a minor is constitutional because it is “rationally related to a legitimate government purpose.” Buren Jarrett Burgess appealed his Yavapai County Superior Court child prostitution convictions stemming from an investigation in which two 27-year-old undercover police officers posed as 16-year-old prostitutes.
Burgess, 44, argued that the females appeared to be adults and that there wasn’t evidence to support child prostitution charges against him. He was sentenced last year to spend 31 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of two counts of child prostitution. He was arrested in November 2014 in a sting after he solicited two people he believed were underage prostitutes for sex. Burgess was already on lifetime probation due to prior child abuse-related convictions, officials said.