1st Sex Trafficking Buyer Conviction Erased

Posted at 8:25 AM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 09:25:01-05

A Nashville judge overturned the conviction and 22-year prison sentence for a man whose case was championed as having secured the first successful prosecution of a customer of sex trafficking in Tennessee.

Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn overturned in November a jury's 2014 decision finding 36-year-old Michael Kohlmeyer guilty of trafficking for a commercial sex act.

Fishburn ruled that the evidence didn't support a conviction under the current language of the state's new sex trafficking law. The Nashville District Attorney's Office is appealing the judge's ruling. Kohlmeyer remains in custody on charges pending in Gibson County.

Authorities say Kohlmeyer spoke with an undercover detective online about securing a juvenile girl. Assistant Public Defender Chaucey Fuller says the plans were fictitious and Kohlmeyer never committed trafficking.