Former Phoenix teacher arrested in prostitution sting sentenced

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Jerry Marfe By Jennifer Thomas Jerry Marfe By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A former high school teacher who was arrested in a prostitution sting has been sentenced in the case.

Jerry Marfe was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years of probation and 15 days in jail for one count of pandering, as part of a plea deal.

Marfe's attorneys, Cindy Castillo and Ashley Sinclair, said the judge imposed an illegal sentence. They said their client will be challenging the sentence and requesting that it be changed to one that is within the confines of the law, so that Mr. Marfe is not punished disproportionately compared to other offenders.

Marfe, 54, originally was charged with two counts of child prostitution and pleaded not guilty.

Marfe was one of 30 people arrested on suspicion of child prostitution, and one of 111 total people arrested, during a massive drug and prostitution sting operation by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in December.

Undercover video showed Marfe sitting down in a Tempe hotel with undercover police detectives he believes are 16-year-old prostitutes he met online.

According to court paperwork, Marfe asked the "girls" to participate in various sex acts for half an hour for $160.

Marfe worked as a teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District for 27 years. He taught advanced chemistry at Betty H. Fairfax High School in Laveen and coached cross country, track and volleyball.

He resigned from his teaching position after the arrest.

Marfe also worked at Alhambra and Cesar Chavez high schools.

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