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One of 20 men arrested in Chesterfield child sex sting was healthcare provider

Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 06:12:41-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Nearly two dozen men were arrested in a child sex sting operation earlier this week in Chesterfield, and one of them was a physician assistant at an urgent care facility in Midlothian.

43-year-old Jeffrey Harrell was one of the men that's been charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution.

Documents show Harrell had a previous complaint from the Virginia Board of Medicine involving an alleged inappropriate relationship with a patient.

In the documents, Harrell claimed he had a past romantic relationship with the patient years before joining the practice, and did not know he could not treat her because of their past relationship.

Harrell also violated several codes for prescribing several drugs to the patient -- including opioids -- without documentation of physical examinations required to do so, according to the documents.

Harrell was reprimanded by the board and terminated from his job at that time, according to the documents.

CBS 6 Legal Expert Todd Stone said this previous complaint and his occupation could complicate things for Harrell if he's convicted on the sex sting charges.

"If he's found guilty of the offense, and it moves into the sentencing phase, everything is fair game,” said Stone. “If there's a prior complaint that's relevant, then a prosecutor will bring in witnesses and argue to a judge that the actions aggravate his sentencing."

Chesterfield Police said the 20 men arrested in the two-day sex sting operation thought they were chatting with an underage girl online, but it was a detective.

Almost all of the men accused, including Harrell, drove to a meet the minors at a location, according to police.

Some of the men have bonded out, while others are still locked up.