Court records allege former Sunflower Farmers Market CEO Michael Gilliland offered to pay $100 to have sex with someone he believed to be a 17-year-old girl.
He was nabbed in a sting by the Phoenix police. The “girl” he was talking to was working for the cops. He was charged with a felony count of child prostitution.
He hasn’t commented publicly but in resigning informed his company that he believes he is innocent and expects to be exonerated.
The elements, as alleged by the Phoenix police, suggest Gilliland is not only creepy but cheap. Did he really believe he commit statutory rape for only $100?
And what is the difference between a 17-year-old prostitute and an 18-year-old prostitute? Couldn’t he have found someone at least one year closer to his age – um – of 52?
Police records also indicate that Gilliland was NOT under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of his arrest.
As these sting cases go, Gilliland stands a good chance of reducing his felony to a misdemeanor with a good attorney. The news of this case, and his subsequent resignation from Sunflower, may be the harshest consequences he faces. He had a lot to lose, but rolled his dice quite recklessly.
Makes you wonder how someone capable of this kind of lapse in judgment could run a company.
Click here to read my column on Gilliland.