The top official in Spotsylvania County, Va., has unsuccessfully asked the sheriff to stop allowing detectives to receive sexual services in prostitution cases, says the Washington Post. Chairman Henry “Hap” Connors Jr. said the seven-member Board of Supervisors is “very disturbed” that investigators had sexual contact with employees of massage parlors suspected of being fronts for prostitution. Connors said he has asked Sheriff Howard D. Smith to cease the practice. “He told me as sheriff he would pursue his policies, and I respect that,” Connors said. The board has no power over the sheriff’s office beyond its budget. “We’ll let the public dictate whether or not they want us to continue these practices,” Connors said.
Smith and the county’s chief prosecutor, Commonwealth’s Attorney William Neely, said detectives needed to go beyond striking verbal deals of sex for money because the “masseuses,” whom they called “illegal aliens,” spoke little English and Virginia’s prostitution laws require more than “mere touching” to make a case. Connors has received dozens of e-mails from around the nation about the practice. About 10 percent have been supportive of the investigations, “but the overwhelming response has been one of disgust, shock and embarrassment,” he said.