A high-profile Broward prosecutor who supervises cases against child molesters and rapists is facing a misdemeanor shoplifting charge after police said she swiped $42.93 worth of beauty products from an Aventura Publix.
Stacey Honowitz, 56, was charged with retail theft on Saturday. She was not booked into a jail. Instead, she signed a notice promising to appear in Miami-Dade court, which is not unusual in minor cases.
According to an arrest report, Honowitz slipped the three “beauty products” into her purse but was spotted by a manager via closed-circuit television. The manager confronted Honowitz, who handed over the stolen goods, according to the Aventura police report.
She has been suspended and will take vacation time until the case is sorted out, a Broward State Attorney’s spokeswoman told reporters in a statement.
“We have been made aware of the incident by the prosecutor. She has been suspended pending an administrative review. She will be utilizing her vacation time until we complete the investigation,” said spokeswoman Constance Simmons.
Her defense attorney, Jayne Weintraub, called the Publix incident an “honest mistake.”
“She inadvertently did not pay for the cosmetics when she checked out and paid for her $130.00 groceries,” Weintraub said in a statement. “She did not even leave the store after she paid. She then purchased lottery tickets and was chatting with another customer. There was no intent to commit a crime at all.”
Honowitz is the author of two children’s books on sexual abuse and frequently appears on cable television news networks as a legal analyst. One book is called “My Privates are Private”; the other is “Genius with a Penis, Don’t Touch!” Both are designed to teach kids about recognizing inappropriate advances.
“When she isn’t putting bad guys behind bars, Honowitz works to educate parents and children about child molestation and the importance of reporting abuse as the first step to healing,” according to her website.
Honowitz could not be reached for comment.
Five years ago, Honowitz appeared at Miami-Dade bond court when her brother was arrested on allegations he was wanted in Colorado on theft and forgery charges. During the hearing, Honowitz mentioned her job several times before the judge let her brother free from jail.
She insisted her appearance in Miami court was appropriate. “I went down there as a loving sister,” Honowitz told the Miami Herald at the time. “I just happen to be a prosecutor. This is a terrible ordeal.”