FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WUSA9) -- A local woman believes she was unfairly busted for -prostitution- after looking for love on Craigslist. Turns out the man who befriended her online was an undercover cop.
"I don't use drugs. I don't drink alcohol," said this woman we'll call "Donna." She insists she was looking for a little romance, trying to find a so-called 'friend with benefits.'
"I was focused on the location and the fact that they were looking for someone with my body type," she told us.
Instead, she was busted for prostitution.
"I said what is this about? And he said, you're being arrested for prostitution."
'Donna' is a highly educated, employed woman in her 50s. She responded to this ad on Craigslist and began an email correspondence with a man she says simply wanted a glimpse of her breasts.
"I've been getting that request since 6th grade," she laughed. "That's nothing new!"
The two met on a weekday evening in a busy Northern Virginia parking lot, in front of a Target. Minutes later, she got into his car and they drove here, to an office parking lot next door.
"At one point, while we were just chitchatting, he proposed a position for full-on everything. I was like, what? Here?! No!"
She says he asked if they could move to a more secluded place.
"I said no, definitely, and I shook my head left and right to make sure that isn't gonna happen."
Then, she says, he indicated he wanted to get started.
"I took that as a clue to unhook my brassiere," she said, adding that her actions prompted an angry response.
According to 'Donna,' he yelled, "You stop that now!"
Fear, she says, took over.
"I just froze in my seat. At that point, he said look here. Like an order. Loudly. Look here. And he had money in his hand," she said. "The funny thing was, he had it in his crotch, which was weird. I thought when he demanded me to look there, I was going to see something else."
She says he shoved a fistful of cash in front of her face and issued a command: "TAKE IT!"
'Donna' did as she was told and acknowledges, she never tried to escape.
"I was frozen. I was too afraid. And I wasn't sure that the backdoors were unlocked? I was just deathly afraid. Once he yelled at me, I was doing everything he said."
Moments later, the car was surrounded.
"Guns and guys in black with masks on. So I didn't know at that split-second that they were police. I didn't know what the heck was going on," she told us. "When they all came around, all dressed in black, pointing guns at me, I was really afraid that I was just gonna get killed."
'Donna' says she feared for her life, until she spotted a Fairfax County Police logo on one of their sleeves.
"I was kind of relieved that it wasn't some crazy gang. I was relieved because I wasn't going to get killed, or attacked or raped or something."
One year later, 'Donna' was convicted. In court, the prosecution focused on the word "roses" in the Craigslist ad-- an apparent code word for cash. The ad reads "I got two hundred roses."
"It looked like he was looking for a date and I have $200 to spend on a date. To me, that was my first impression. And I was like, okay, take me out for dinner, that's fine. There was no sex mentioned."
Remarkably, 'Donna' returned to Craigslist after the incident and found her current boyfriend, whom she's been dating for the last year.
Fairfax County Police tell us cases like this are handled by its Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit, and that detectives do investigate several cases that stem from online ads, which have risen dramatically in recent years. Police say human trafficking is sometimes involved, in which a victim is forced into these situations against their will.
'Donna' was handed a thousand fine and spent several weekends in jail. She was offered a plea deal, which didn't involve jail time, but she refused. She insists she didn't do anything illegal and is upset there was apparently no video or audiotape of the incident, recorded by police.
Written by Andrea McCarren, WUSA9