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Sat, Aug. 17

Juvie officer pleads guilty to prostitution,bribery charges<BR><I>Case involved two under-age, girl inmates</I>

PRESCOTT – Former juvenile detention officer Michael Hollingsworth may spend as long as two years in prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts that stem from a June 17 incident involving a 17-year-old girl inmate.

Hollingsworth, 49, offered the minor candy, cigarettes and soda to expose her breasts, among other things.

The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of child prostitution and one count of solicitation to commit bribery, both Class 6 felonies.

He also pleaded guilty to a Class 1 misdemeanor of contributing to delinquency of a child in connection with a June 10 incident involving two under-age inmates.

According to the plea agreement, all sentences would run concurrent, although a judge has discretion to impose consecutive sentences if he or she finds that exceptional circumstances exist.

Probation is available for a maximum term of three years. Hollingsworth will not have to pay restitution in this matter, but a judge may order him to pay a fine.

Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Bill Hughes said the state is going to ask for probation.

He said certain sex offender requirements will apply to Hollingsworth although he will not have to register as a sex offender.

Prescott police arrested Hollingsworth after director of juvenile detention services Scott Mabery reported to police that one of his employees had made inappropriate sexual advances at a juvenile in custody at the detention center.

Mabery said that he immediately placed Hollings-worth on paid administrative leave and then "I asked human resources to switch it to unpaid. We pursued that as soon as we opened the criminal process," he said.

Mabery said that Hollingsworth resigned on June 25, four days after he called police.

During Tuesday's hearing, Hollingsworth said that he was transporting the victim from a Cottonwood family drug treatment facility to Prescott when he propositioned the minor to expose her breasts in exchange for candy, soda and cigarettes.

He said he stopped twice along the road for her to do that and then he also asked her to drop her pants.

He said on June 10, he was transporting the victim and another female inmate and while in his custody he encouraged the girls to expose their breasts and told them that they wouldn't get in trouble.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Janis Sterling scheduled sentencing in this case for 3 p.m. on Sept. 13.

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