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    2 Sep 2015

    87-year-old man accused of soliciting a prostitute earns pass from prosecutor

    Howard Klein talks with his attorney, Stacy VanDyken, at the Grand Rapids District Court


    The 87-year-old man police say was soliciting an undercover cop posing as a prostitute will not be prosecuted.

    "What would be the purpose in prosecuting him? " Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth said Tuesday, Sept. 1. "He wouldn't and shouldn't go to jail and 87 years without involvement in the criminal justice system has, in my opinion, earned him a pass."

    Howard Arthur Klein, likely the oldest person ever charged with this crime, was arrested by Grand Rapids Police around 10 p.m. June 26 near Broadway Street NW and Leonard Avenue, not far from his home.

    Klein was arrested along with two other men and two women, the rest of whom were booked into the Kent County Jail. Klein was not taken into custody, due to his age, and was arraigned July 8.

    Klein allegedly claimed he thought the woman he approached was someone he knew from church.

    Klein faced a maximum of 93 days in the Kent County Jail if convicted.

    "I could see no compelling reason to continue to prosecute Mr. Klein on the ticket he was issued for accosting and soliciting," Forsyth said. "He is 87 years old with absolutely no criminal record. In addition, I am told he struggles to some degree with dementia."


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