Cop records him­self in acts of so­lic­i­ta­tion

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

An Aurora code en­force­ment of­fi­cer has re­signed af­ter he recorded him­self so­lic­it­ing two pros­ti­tutes late last year while his body cam­era was rolling, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments and in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Paul Thorne, 54, pleaded guilty on March 6 to one count of so­lic­it­ing pros­ti­tu­tion, a Class 3 mis­de­meanor, Ara­pa­hoe County pros­e­cu­tors say. He was sen­tenced to six months pro­ba­tion and 60 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice in the case, which was first re­ported by KCNC-4.

Thorne’s case is ap­par­ently the sec­ond in Colorado in which a pub­lic em­ployee record­ing him­self with a body cam­era break­ing the law led to charges. Den­ver po­lice Of­fi­cer Ju­lian Archuleta pleaded guilty in Fe­bru­ary to tap­ing him­self steal­ing more than $1,000 from a sus­pect’s ve­hi­cle. He has re­signed.

In Thorne’s case, he was wear­ing a body cam­era as part of a test­ing phase for Aurora code en­force­ment of­fi­cers when a su­per­vi­sor, watch­ing Thorne’s footage, spot­ted the so­lic­i­ta­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Aurora po­lice records, the record­ings, from Dec. 28, 2016, cap­tured Thorne call­ing a woman named Tracy whose num­ber he had got­ten on­line and ask­ing her the “do­na­tion price” for sex. In­ves­ti­ga­tors say he then called an­other woman and asked what her do­na­tion price was.

“Due to my train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence, I am fa­mil­iar with the term ‘do­na­tion,’ ” an Aurora po­lice of­fi­cer wrote in a re­port. “This is com­mon ter­mi­nol­ogy that es­corts/pros­ti­tutes use in an ef­fort to avoid pros­e­cu­tion but refers to money in ex­change for sex.”

Thorne, when told he was go­ing to be charged on Jan. 18, told au­thor­i­ties he “wished to take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions” and that he had re­signed from his code en­force­ment job, the po­lice re­port shows.

Aurora an­nounced in Novem­ber it was test­ing body cam­eras for its code en­force­ment and an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cers af­ter see­ing a rise in en­coun­ters with an­gry res­i­dents.

“In code en­force­ment, there’s a na­tional trend of the job be­com­ing more and more dif­fi­cult with some volatile in­ter­ac­tions with folks,” Mal­colm Hank­ins, the city’s di­rec­tor of neigh­bor­hood ser­vices, said at the time. “It’s not al­ways the most pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, if you will, be­cause it’s some­thing that will cost peo­ple time and money.”

Aurora has al­lo­cated money in its 2017 bud­get to equip 24 code en­force­ment of­fi­cers and 14 an­i­mal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers.

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