10 years dealt for woman in pimping plea

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Norcross woman pleaded guilty this week to pimping a 15-year-old girl for money three years ago.

Slated for a jury trial, Melissa Fales, 24, instead admitted to her involvement in sordid transactions involving the teen at her Beaver Ruin Road residence between January and July 2007. The victim is related to Fales' husband, according to arrest warrants.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Warren Davis sentenced Fales to 10 years in prison for felony pimping, followed by 10 years probation. The charge is a felony when victims are younger than 18.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and child molestation, which can carry longer penalties, said Assistant District Attorney Jay Hughes.

Fales testified Tuesday she knew the victim was being prostituted in her residence and that portions of the proceeds -- and sometimes all of it -- were being channeled to her husband, co-defendant James "J.R." Fales, Hughes said.

In a recorded statement, Melissa Fales "stated that, on one occasion, she herself received some of the victim's proceeds from prostitution," Hughes said.

Fales' husband is awaiting trial on charges of pimping and two counts of child molestation. Hughes expects that portion of the case to reach a courtroom in the next couple months, she said.

As a special condition of her probation, Fales must testify against her husband.

Fales will be given credit for time spent in jail awaiting trial. Upon release, she'll be required to register as a sex offender, Hughes said.

She's been ordered to complete sex-offender evaluations and treatment and to have no contact with the victim or her family.