DAYTONA BEACH - The Daytona Beach Police Department is reacting to a judge's decision to clear a former city councilman caught in a department store sex sting. The judge decided the law did not allow her to punish _____.
As police see it, the decision opens the door to all kinds of crime if it happens behind a closed bathroom door, whether it's at a fast food place or even the police station bathroom; according to the law, there's not much police can do to stop it.
Sears asked Daytona Beach police to come to their store a year ago to stop sexual activity in the bathrooms. If the call came again now, though, police said they don't know what they could do.
"I think what I need to do is go put a billboard out on I-95 that advertises for scumbags and creeps and degenerates and perverts to feel free to come to Daytona Beach because law enforcement can't do anything about it," said Chief Mike Chitwood, Daytona Beach Police Department.
Chitwood's reaction comes after Judge Dawn Fields threw out the case against _____, a former city councilman arrested in that sting. The judge ruled that, according to case law, _____ had a right to privacy behind that closed bathroom door and his attorney made the case that, because of that, it didn't matter what he was doing inside.
"For those that were inside a stall, forgetting what may or may not have gone on inside that stall, they were protected in that area," attorney Mike Lambert said.
Police believe it could stop them from preventing other crimes, drug crimes, sexual assaults. Criminals, police said, now know they have a safe place to go.
"I know Judge Fields is following the law on this, but maybe legislators need to change the law or build case law to fix this," Chitwood said.
The police chief pointed out that the Sears store was listed on the Internet as a place to gather for sexual activity, which is why he believes it's not out of the question for people to do it even more now.
- December 16, 2008: Judge Dismisses Sears Sex Sting Case
- June 16, 2008: Volusia Sex Sting Trial Scheduled To Start Monday
- June 13, 2008: Sears Bathroom Sex-Sting Questioned After Judge Rules In Favor Of Privacy
- April 23, 2008: Man Says He Wasn't In Bathroom For Sex, He Was Playing Game On PDA
- April 16, 2008: Defense Calls Police Chief As Witness In Sex Sting Trial
- March 31, 2008: Men Fight Charges After Being Nabbed In Bathroom Sex Sting