Police are searching for a woman who was the first charged under a new campaign by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office aimed at San Fernando Valley prostitutes who frequently use phony names to deceive authorities.
Deborah Fay Fonderson, 29, of Northridge was charged Thursday with giving false information to police, a charge that carries a sentence of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
When she was arrested for prostitution by vice officers last month, she gave them an alias, authorities said. The following day, Fonderson was arraigned under the false name, pleaded guilty to prostitution and, because it appeared she was a first-time offender, was given a year of probation.
This is a common tactic employed by prostitutes with long criminal records, the city attorney’s office said. If the woman’s true identity had been known, her previous conviction for prostitution would have resulted in a more severe penalty, authorities said.
Prostitutes who lie to police about their names are subject to arrest for giving false information to authorities, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Laura Van Eyk, who will oversee the new enforcement program.
“The filing of new charges is to discourage future use of false names,” Van Eyk said. “It is to show them that there is a consequence when you do give a false name.”
The campaign is part of the mapping program City Atty. James Hahn started this year under which convicted prostitutes are banned from carrying out certain otherwise-legal activities during the evening in areas of the Valley, according to the city attorney’s office.
In the mapping program, prostitutes’ fingerprints are checked to keep closer track of the women, a tactic that reveals those who use several different names, Van Eyk said.