According to Robinson, Dr. Janaki Earla, 59, is being held without bond in the Blount County Jail. In addition to the offer, Earla allegedly had sexually explicit text conversations with the minor and arranged to meet her at a Days Inn motel in Oneonta.
Law enforcement officers met Earla at the motel and took him into custody on a charge of first-degree human trafficking of a minor, Robinson reported.
According to court records, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation on Oct. 5, after the teen’s mother contacted investigators to report an inappropriate incident that had taken place during the teen’s Oct. 4 appointment with Earla. The girl allegedly told her mother that Earla put a stethoscope on her breasts, instead of above her breasts.
Charging documents state that Earla then took the teen to his office, where he told her she was beautiful and had her put her cell phone number in his cell phone. He texted her, “You can text me whenever you feel like.” Earla allegedly continued to text the minor, insisting that she keep their text conversations a secret and not tell her parents.
On Oct. 5, the girl’s mother gave law enforcement consent to search her daughter’s iPhone, Robinson reported. The following day, the mother gave investigators permission to assume the 17-year-old’s identity online, as well as on her electronic devices.
An undercover investigator with the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force proceeded to communicate with Earla, pretending to be the teen. According to Al.com, Earla sent messages to the undercover investigator over the next two days, asking the teen to delete texts and offering to be her “Sugar Daddy,” sending the following definition: “an older man who supports/provides for a younger woman (ex: financially) in return for companionship and/or sexual favors.”
The investigator, still pretending to be the teen, texted Earla, “So are you my Suggar daddy?” to which Earla responded, “Yes. Love you baby,” Robinson reported. The doctor also reportedly texted that he wanted the teen to “own” him and treat him “like a lover.”
According to records, Earla attempted to set up a meeting with the teen, originally suggesting the Trussville Regal Theatre, but later changing the location to a Days Inn in Oneonta. He made arrangements for them to meet on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m., after his office closed for the day. He also promised to bring condoms, a pizza, alcohol and money for the teen, Robinson reported.
Law enforcement officers were waiting for Earla, Tuesday, when he arrived at the Days Inn. They found in his possession a box of condoms, Hpnotiq (an alcoholic beverage pronounced “hypnotic”), Jose Cuervo, Jagermeister, and a 12-pack of White Claw. He also had $386 in cash, $50 of which he had promised to give the teen.
Authorities said Earla admitted to the crime, and to knowing that the girl was 17 years old, Robinson reported.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey confirmed the arrest and said the joint-investigation was carried out by the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children, an FBI Online Covert Employee, the Oneonta Police Department, the Homewood Police Department and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Casey is asking that any other potential victims contact her office at 205-625-4171.
The story will be updated when more information is available.