AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin man awarded an “Austin Under 40 Award” in April was arrested and charged with prostitution as a result of Operation Cross Country, a multicity initiative targeting child sex trafficking.
Judson Sutherland, 37, was one of seven people arrested for prostitution — a misdemeanor charge — in the three-day operation.
While Sutherland wasn’t charged with human trafficking, authorities said he was arrested under Operation Cross Country because he was involved with underage individuals.
Sutherland is a founding partner of the Hajjar Sutherland & Peters law firm.
KXAN News spoke to the managing partner of the firm, Doran Peters, regarding Sutherland’s arrest and he issued this statement:
We are investigating this issue and we’re taking these allegations very seriously. Judson Sutherland is our partner and for now we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt while we’re looking into it. For the time being, we’re standing by our partner. The quality of the legal services will not change one bit.
According to the biography on his company’s website, Sutherland sits on numerous boards. He is also the business partner of J. Black’s on West Sixth Street. A Black’s manager had no comment Wednesday night, and neither did the University of Texas Club, which Sutherland lists as being on the Board of Directors.
Brianna Williams, 22, was arrested for human trafficking. According to an arrest affidavit, Williams was trafficking a 17-year-old girl at a hotel in Austin. Williams told investigators she posted the ads, provided food for the victim and paid for the room where the victim was staying, according to the document.
Others charged with prostitution:
- Delaisha Forcey, 19
- Aniqua Johnson, 25
- Trinydon Pina, 23
- Andrea Presley, 36
- Kamin Ervin, 27
- Takeisha Wilson, 30
Investigators say the investigation is ongoing and more people could be arrested and more charges could be filed.