Thursday, September 12, 2013

Carmel Undercover Police Officers Still Having Sex With Prostitutes

Last May, I commented on the unconventional way that undercover police officers working for the Carmel Police Department nab persons engaged in prostitution. During a press conference about a number of prostitution arrests made at local message parlors, a spokesman for the department described how the persons charged with prostitution had performed sex acts on the undercover police officers in exchange for money. It came as a bit of a shock to me that undercover police officers were actually permitted to go through with a sex act after the target of the investigation agreed to perform sex for money. Today, there's another report of an arrest of a Carmel man being arrested for prostitution after he allegedly performed sex on an undercover police officer who visited his home in exchange for money. Here's how WISH-TV describes the arrest of 46-year old Jonathan Horton:
Wednesday, an undercover officer went to his home to investigate. Police say during the encounter, Horton performed a sexual act on the officer in exchange for money.
Horton was then arrested on a preliminary charge of prostitution. A search warrant was obtained for his home.
During the search of his home, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were seized in addition to a number of digital media storage devices, a cell phone and computer hard drive, police say.
Horton faces preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony, possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor and prostitution, a class A misdemeanor.
The report doesn't state the gender of the undercover police officer or the sex act that was performed. A Fox59 News story reports the same facts here. Neither of the reports questioned the methods used by police. Am I missing something? Is it now standard operating procedure that undercover vice officers are allowed to have sex with their targets?

UPDATE: The Star's Kristine Guerra probes a little more deeply into the Carmel police's methods. Just a brief touching of the undercover officer's genitals occurred police say:
“What we run into these days is that a lot of educated prostitutes know and shy away from any type of verbal agreement for a sex act,” Dietz said. “This was the same. We tried to get a verbal agreement, but the defendant said, ‘It’s prostitution. I can’t do that.’ ”
In this case, Dietz said, Horton was arrested immediately after he touched the officer’s genitals.
“The defendant touched and that was the end of it,” he said. “There’s no length of time. As soon as it happened, we made an arrest.”
Officers also conducted surveillance outside Horton’s house. What they found, Dietz said, is an unusually high number of men in their 40s and 50s arriving and leaving throughout the day. He said the men usually stayed there for about 45 minutes to an hour . . .
Last May, six people were arrested after detectives raided two Hamilton and Boone County spas. Before the arrests, undercover officers spent several months going to the spas. Police said female employees massaged and fondled the officers. Dietz said the methods were necessary to shut down a sophisticated prostitution ring.
Legal and law-enforcement experts and women’s advocates criticized the detectives’ methods, saying they were excessive, unnecessary and, in some ways, exploit the women involved. The experts said prostitutes can be arrested and charged in Indiana as soon as an agreement to pay for a sex act was made.


Anonymous said...

During our criminal law training in the academy over a decade ago we were told that officers were in fact allowed to have sex with suspects. I have not heard any change of legal precedent but I don't work Vice. The example was given that a small town may have but one officer who works a Vice case involving a brothel and would need to go back more than one time to pursue cases against multiple offenders. Having said that it is my understanding that many police agencies do not allow actual intercourse but it is up to each department to set its limits.

Flogger said...

Several years ago, I read an article in one of the Chicago Newspapers about a similar "bust."

What caught my eye was the mug shot of the hooker. She was in a word a real bombshell. I remember thinking how many young men were going to apply for jobs in "Vice."

I also wondered what the officer's wife or girlfriend thought of his "undercover" work.

Allowing the Police to engage hookers sexually, would seem to be a situation ripe for corruption.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely outrageous.