Thursday, December 08, 2011

Former Democratic Lawmaker Busted For Soliciting Undercover Male Cop

An undercover IMPD officer arrested former State Rep. Brian Hasler (D) for patronizing a prostitute after Hasler allegedly responded to an online ad placed by the male police officer and then offered to pay the police officer $160 for sex when the two met in a downtown Indianapolis hotel lobby. Hasler, who supported opposed a constitutional ban on gay marriage as a state lawmaker, currently works as an assistant to Indiana State University's president for external affairs, which includes lobbying Indiana's state and federal lawmakers. He is married to Maggie McShane, a lobbyist for the Indiana Realtors Association. Fox 59's Russ McQuaid has the story:

Former State Representative Brian Hasler was arrested by an undercover Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer and charged with patronizing a prostitute in a downtown hotel lobby.

Hasler is a special assistant to the president of Indiana State University handling external affairs. The probable cause filed in superior court indicates Hasler utilized his ISU e-mail account to arrange the meeting with the vice officer.

ISU indicated it has no comment on Hasler’s arrest.

The officer advertised on a website offering a message. He reported that Hasler contacted him and negotiated to pay $160 for sex. He also requested photographs of the officer. In the lobby of the hotel Wednesday afternoon, Hasler identified himself to the officer and was placed under arrest.

Hasler served the Evansville area in the state house from 1996 until 2004.

Hasler would be at least the fourth person with statehouse connections investigated for alleged sex crimes in the past few years.

In August, a young man reported that state representative Phil Hinkle paid him to have sex in a downtown hotel. Hinkle admitted to poor judgment. No criminal charges were filed.
Yesterday, I contacted IMPD's media relations office after Matt Stone published a rumor on his blog that a prominent former politician had been busted for soliciting a male prostitute at a downtown hotel. A spokesperson, Catherine Cummings, confirmed a prostitution arrest had occurred, but she refused to release the name of the person to me. She told me that the person arrested was not a politician. She also told me that the arrest did not occur as a result of a sting by the department but rather an investigative tip, which was obviously not the case. After I inquired with Russ McQuaid about the story, he contacted IMPD and was given Hasler's name and the details of his arrest. Thanks for nothing, Ms. Cummings.

This story should tell Indianapolis State Rep. Phil Hinkle (R) just how lucky he is. IMPD could have charged him with solicitation after he responded to a young man's ad on Craigslist seeking a "sugga daddy." Hinkle met the 18-year-old boy, Kameryn Gibson, at the J.W. Marriott where Hinkle was attending the wedding reception for the daughter of a prominent Indianapolis' lobbyist. The young man who hooked up with Hinkle later took up a career as an adult performer for a gay pornographic producer. IMPD swept the Hinkle matter under the rug. Maybe if Hasler had been tied to the corrupt Indianapolis political community he could have gotten a pass as well.

UPDATE: WISH-TV's AJ Colley has a few more details on Hasler's arrest, which occurred at the Omni Severin Hotel:

The undercover officer who posted the ad on a website received a response from Hasler's ISU email account, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in a Marion County court. After receiving Hasler’s response, the officer asked what he wanted.

“Massage or more. Are you DDF/HIV-? Face pic,” Hasler responded, according to court documents. The officer said this meant Hasler was asking if he was disease- and drug-free and HIV negative. He also wanted a picture of the man’s face. In later correspondence, Hasler asked for a photo of the man’s penis.
The men met at 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Omni Severin Hotel, 40 W. Jackson Place. When they confirmed each other’s identity, the undercover officer identified himself as a police officer and arrested Hasler. While searching Hasler, the officer found exactly $160 in cash on him.
This item from WTHI-TV is almost surreal. It looks like Hasler has written a children's book about the ISU Sycamore's mascot, Sycamore Sam, and was scheduled to do a book signing in Terre Haute tomorrow:
Hasler wrote a children's book called "The Story of Sycamore Sam" about how Indiana State's 'Sycamore Sam' became their mascot. He was scheduled to appear at the Indiana State bookstore on Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. for an autograph session.
UPDATE [4:15 p.m.]: The Terre Haute Tribune-Star is reporting that Hasler used his ISU e-mail account to arrange the tryst with the undercover male cop, citing court documents. At Hasler's request, a university spokesperson told the Tribune-Star that Hasler is taking paid vacation time off in the wake of his arrest. Hasler is paid a whopping $116,159 a year. I can't imagine that university officials would not fire him since he was arranging the sexual tryst during the middle of a work day using his official university e-mail account.


Paul K. Ogden said...

No extra money for a tip?

Regarding Hinkle, almost all prostitution arrests involve a police officer on one side of the transaction. In fact, defense attorneys I talked to confirm never seeing a case where a police officer was not involved in the sex-for-money transaction who was prepared to be a witness at trial.

Camryn Gibson had already stated in a tv interview that Hinkle was not paying him for sex. While that seemed contradictory with earlier statements, it made Gibson less than credible as a witness...not to mention his background and other parts of the story which seemed dubious at best

To successfully prosecute someone you have to have a rock solid (no pun intended) witness because the defendant does not have to testify. The Hinkle case didn't have one and thus no prosecution. I just don't think prosecuting Hinkle was ever a realistic option.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Well, there were a couple of legal issues, Paul. First, If Gibson was merely working as an "escort", he was required to have a license from the city. He did not so he could have been prosecuted for that. The e-mail exchanges confirmed the expectations of the transaction. In one of the interviews I saw, Gibson said he had intended to have sex with Hinkle but didn't want to after he met him and decided he was not the person he thought he was meeting. IMPD passed on charging either one of them. The e-mails established the predicate for the crime regardless of what was said after the fact.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I should add that you don't have to prove sex for money occurred, only that it was solicited.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Furthermore, Paul, Hinkle flat out lied to me with respect to his intentions concerning a piece of legislation I had discussed with him. He has no credibility with me. He's a big gas bag who talks out of both sides of his mouth.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Wally Paynter, an LGBT activist from Evansville, vouches for Hasler in an e-mail to me. He describes him as "a pro-lgbt rights and pro-lgbt marriage . . . one of the most liberal state reps in the history of Indiana."

Marycatherine Barton said...

If the police office sent Hasler the photographs for which he asked, might that not be seen/argued as entrapment, lol? Seriously, I hope his wife gets tested, because it appears that
Brian might have prior worrisome experiences.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I noticed WISH-TV's State House reporter had nothing to say about the story today. You can always tell who is friends are. He exaggerates the foibles of the politicians he dislikes, and he ignores the transgressions of the politicians he likes.