Sex, Thighs and Videotape
It's not the Paris Hilton sex tape, but if you're sitting on a jury, you can't exactly complain. On June 7, an otherwise mundane prostitution trial will be spiced up by the likely introduction of raw footage featuring a naked Dallas police officer receiving a rather expansive massage from a woman accused of being a hooker.
Last May, undercover vice officers snuck into the Acapulco Spa in Northwest Dallas where they documented several instances where the women were willing to flip massages into sex acts in exchange for cash. The officer seemed to have an airtight case against the owner, Stephen McPherson, after several spa employees told police they were willing to testify that he taught them how to avoid trouble with the law. On May 27, the police hauled the 37-year-old Frisco resident into custody, taking with them the tricks of his chosen trade, including porn magazines, computers and surveillance equipment.
But McPherson turned the tables on Dallas' finest when he produced a tape showing at least five officers disrobing entirely and receiving the types of massages that you wouldn't exactly receive at Hotel ZaZa. According to prosecution reports, the women were allowed to stroke their breasts along the officers' backs, touch their penises and initiate oral sex before the officers arrested them. As a direct result of McPherson's tapes, which include a little less talk and a lot more action than the police reports suggest, the police Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation of the officers' behavior and recommended discipline for two officers: The department suspended Officer D.M. Waterson for five days without pay after footage showed that he allowed a spa employee to touch his penis for "a longer time than was necessary," according to his supervisor Julian Bernal. And Officer Claude Stephen Hall received a notice in his personnel file after he failed to document in his police report that he received a nude massage.
McPherson, meanwhile, had the last laugh. A grand jury declined to indict the spa owner in part because at the time the jury convened, the internal affairs investigation of the case had commenced.
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But the district attorney will still press charges against one of the women that police arrested that night, even though the defense plans to introduce the tape as evidence that their client was unfairly targeted.
On the five-minute tape, Officer Timothy Prokof is seen lying on his stomach, naked. The 26-year-old spa employee, dressed only in her panties, rubs her breasts on him, straddles him and whispers in his ear. The tape doesn't include sound, but according to Prokof's own report on the matter, she brings up the topic of oral sex and they begin to talk sweet nothings:
"'So for $200, I get head and sex?'
'Yes,' she replied.'"
The leggy woman then removed a condom from her G-string. At that point, he decided to curtail their evening, introduced himself as a Dallas police officer and took her into custody.
One minute into his massage, the woman began rubbing her breasts all over his back and sliding her hands up and down his legs. That would seem to constitute sexual contact, the legal threshold for a prostitution charge, but Prokof allowed the massage to go on for four additional minutes during which she later straddled him again and rubbed his lower back.
"The videotape suggests that they are going way beyond what they need to do," attorney Scott Palmer says. Hopefully this tape won't result in a, ahem, hung jury. --Matt Pulle
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