Trussville doctor arrested for allegedly trying to sex traffic minor patient
BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Blount County investigators said a Trussville doctor tried to sex traffic one of his own minor patients.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said Dr. Janaki Earla touched a 17-year-old patient inappropriately, sent her sexual texts, and even tried to meet her at a hotel in exchange for money.
“We got information last week that a doctor had been inappropriate with a patient who was under the age of 18,” Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey said.
That information came from the 17-year-old girl’s mother. She told police that Dr. Earla used his stethoscope during an exam to inappropriately touch her daughter’s chest. She said he then complimented her daughter’s appearance and put his number in her phone. That’s when she said Earla began texting her daughter detailed sexual messages.
“I commend these parents and this child for the relationship they had that she felt comfortable that she could say ‘hey mom this isn’t right. Is he supposed to be doing this,” Casey said.
Investigators used her phone and began pretending to be the teenager by texting Earla back. Police said during their conversations with him, he asked the teen to have sex with him for money and travel with him.
“At that point, he set up a meeting in Oneonta at a hotel to engage in sexual contact in exchange for money,” Casey said.
That’s when Blount County Sheriff’s Office planned a sting operation and arrested Earla when he got to the hotel. Police documents show he came with alcohol, condoms, and cash.
“It is scary,” Casey said. “We want to think when we take our child to the doctor that this is one of the people they can trust the most, other than their parents, to provide them good advice and assist them when they need help. We have to be careful about who we allow our children around and whether they are alone. We can never let our guard down as parents.”
He’s being charged with first degree human trafficking of a minor, but Blount County DA’s office said they’re still investigating and looking for other potential victims. Casey said this family did the right thing by immediately contacting police.
“One element of human trafficking is if you exchange something in consideration of sexual conduct or contact and the person is under the age of 19,” Casey said. “He traveled there in exchange of such contact with monetary consideration.”
Prosecutors have asked that Earla surrender his passport before the bond hearing next week.
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