Decades of clean, law-abiding living earns you a pass in the eyes of the law, or at least in the eyes of a Michigan county prosecutor, William Forsyth, who refused to prosecute Howard Arthur Klein for soliciting a prostitute. "What would be the purpose?" Forsyth asked rhetorically, adding "he wouldn't and shouldn't go to jail." Fair enough.
According to MLive, Klein was arrested by police in June by Grand Rapids Police for allegedly trying to pick up a cop posing as a prostitute, but wasn't taken into custody because of his age. If convicted, Klein would have spent up to 93 days in the Kent County Jail. Klein, who may suffer from dementia, says he thought he recognized the woman from church.
The single former fruit farmer was one of five arrested as part of a prostitution sting. The others range in age from 22 to 45.
Klein spoke to local news channel Wood TV back in July about the incident. When anchor Ken Kolker questioned him about the arrest, saying, "We get this press release and say that there were five people arrested, and one of them was an 87-year-old guy….." Klein jumped in, chuckling. "That was me."
Kolker prodded, "That's kind of unusual," and Klein said, "That's what I thought…very unusual." Excellent deflection.
Klein added, “I talked to this gal from St. Pete’s and Paul’s… I thought that I knew her. I didn’t say nothing to her. I just said, ‘Hi,’ and nothing else and I left.”
In dismissing the charges, Forsyth pointed out that even if Klein were intentionally soliciting a prostitute he would likely let him go. "87 years without involvement in the criminal justice system has, in my opinion, earned him a pass."
So go live your best life, Klein, you've apparently earned it.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.