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Mother with same name as prostitute mistakenly jailed

ORLANDO — An Orlando mother was mistaken for a suspected prostitute and arrested after she got off a cruise ship in South Florida over the weekend.

Paola Londono, 31, spent more than 36 hours in a Broward County jail because authorities there thought she was a woman by the same name who was wanted in Osceola County for failing to appear in court.

The wanted Paola Londono, who is 24, was arrested in March by Kissimmee police in a sting targeting online prostitution ads.

Londono was arrested on charges of prostitution, heroin possession and possessing drug paraphernalia. Records show she is also wanted in Orange County in a child abuse case.

It's unclear where Londono is today — she's still wanted by authorities.

The ordeal with the wrongfully arrested Paola Londono began Sunday, when she returned from her Caribbean cruise with her husband and 9-month-old, said local attorney Jose Baez.

Baez said that as Londono got off the ship, she was immediately taken into custody.

"Her baby was taken from her arms," Baez said. "She insisted immediately that it was not her."

Baez made several attempts, unsuccessfully, to get Londono released.

Even though their mug shots look nothing alike, their ages are different, as well as their height and weight, Baez got the runaround. He didn't have any luck when it came to getting fingerprints compared either.

A copy of the arrest warrant states Paola A. Londono is 5 feet 4 and weighs 125 pounds, as well as her age.

Broward County's inmate information gathered on the other Londono shows she is 4 feet 11 and weighs 165 pounds.

"These two people could not look more different," Baez said.

It wasn't until Baez asked Orange County Circuit Judge Jose Rodriguez to intervene Monday that Londono was released.

"I think what's scary is that no one wanted to accept responsibility," he said. "It's just one nightmare after another."

Baez said Londono likely would not conduct any media interviews.

"She's exhausted," he said.

Mother with same name as prostitute mistakenly jailed 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 10:27pm]
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