The solicitations from men – they were always from men – were discreet and almost always unspoken. Eye contact followed by a simple hand gesture. Just enough to let the object of their attention know they were interested in sex, says the Salt Lake Tribune. Often, the first words exchanged between the two were from Jeff Bedard telling his suitors that he was a Salt Lake City police officer and they were under arrest. The men are most often caught “cruising” for sex in public parks and restrooms. Most are between 36 and 56, and a third of them are married and consider themselves straight. “A lot of the people we’ve arrested live lives that are opposite to the activities they are engaging in,” Bedard said.
Much in the same way police nabbed Idaho Sen. Larry Craig in a Minneapolis airport restroom, undercover officers in the Salt Lake City area have caught more than 500 men in five years seeking gay sex in public. Craig, who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, is reconsidering a plan to quit his Senate seat, although his departure still seems likely. Citing reported details in the Craig case, Bedard, a former vice officer now a police spokesman, said, “An accidental floor bump wouldn’t get you arrested, but if you start reaching under stalls or are peeking in the door cracks, then it’s alarming.”