One might think that if anyone should know about the chance of getting caught in an undercover prostitution sting, it would be a police officer.
Apparently, that is not necessarily the case. A Tulsa police officer was arrested on a prostitution complaint after allegedly offering to pay an undercover officer for sex. Tulsa Police Department Corporal David Turner, 52, of Broken Arrow was taken to the Tulsa Jail on complaints of engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Police were conducting a prostitution sting at a local hotel. They say that Turner offered an undercover officer $40 to engage in sex. He was arrested and booked into the Tulsa jail on Wednesday and released the following day on $11,500 bond.
Typically, prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are misdemeanors punishable by 30 days to one year in jail on the first offense. However, when the offense occurs within 1,000 feet of a school or church, the crime is escalated to a felony, and the penalties include a maximum of five years in prison:
Any person violating any of the provisions of Section 1028, 1029 or 1030 of this title within one thousand (1,000) feet of a school or church shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than five (5) years or by fines as follows: a fine of not more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) upon the first conviction for violation of any of such provisions, a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) upon the second conviction for violation of any of such provisions, and a fine of not more than Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500.00) upon the third or subsequent convictions for violation of any of such provisions, or by both such imprisonment and fine. In addition, the court may require a term of community service of not less than forty (40) nor more than eighty (80) hours. The court in which any such conviction is had shall notify the county superintendent of public health of such conviction.(21 O.S. § 1031)
Because Cpl. Turner was an active duty police officer, he lawfully possessed a firearm. However, he was carrying that firearm as he allegedly committed a felony crime of engaging in prostitution near a church, which added a separate felony charge punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison on the first offense.
Because of the circumstances--proximity to a church and the possession of a loaded gun--what might have been an embarrassing misdemeanor charge has become a serious felony allegation that carries the potential for 15 years in prison. Turner, who has been with the Tulsa Police Department since 1996, has been placed on administrative leave. For more information visit our homepage.