Tahoe man caught in underage prostitution sting must serve jail time

Kurt Hildebrand
Record Courier

STATELINE, Nev. — A wildland firefighter who brought alcohol and cocaine on what he thought was a rendezvous with a 17-year-old girl will spend 45 days in jail as a condition of probation.

Oscar Ortega

Lake Tahoe resident Oscar Ortega, 27, received an underlying sentence of 1-3 years and will be under supervision for the next two years.

Ortega was arrested July 7, 2021, after he texted someone he thought was a teenage prostitute through an escort web site.

It turns out the person on the other end was a law enforcement officer.

Ortega was one of several men caught up in an underage prostitution sting conducted by authorities last summer.

He was found not to be a high risk to reoffend.

“I acknowledge I made a huge error in judgment,” Ortega said. “There are no words to express the shame I feel.”

Prosecutor Erik Levin said Ortega could have been charged with possession of cocaine or solicitation to prostitution regardless of the subject’s age.

“He knowingly solicited a 17-year-old female and brought cocaine and alcohol he intended to use with this child,” Levin said.

Levin asked for 60 days jail time in addition to probation.

As a result of the conviction, Ortega will have to surrender the $300 he planned to pay the minor, pay a $2,000 fine, in addition to $1,676 for the psycho-sexual evaluation. He will also have to register as a sex offender. Ortega was taken into custody on Monday to begin his jail sentence.

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