ElJudge: St. Paul Police Went Too Far in Lewd Behavior Sting


St. Paul’s crackdown on lewd behavior in its parks has netted, among others, a parochial school president and a pastor — both of whom resigned as a result. Their indecent-conduct guilty pleas were victories for a police undercover team that one officer once testified could produce 12 arrests in three hours, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A judge has questioned the sting tactics.

Judge J. Thomas Mott acquitted a man of indecent exposure stemming from a sting incident in a park. An officer invited himself into the man’s car, told him he was up for “anything” and then arrested the man after he allegedly exposed himself. Mott said that the officer’s actions were “if not an open invitation to the exposure [then] certainly a consent to it” and that the resulting interaction between the two occurred well out of the public’s view. No crime, the judge said. Defense attorney Jeffrey Dean said it was outrageous that the city would prosecute such cases. Police spokesman Howie Padilla said: “We are going to look at the case and see what, if anything, we can learn from it.”

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