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EPSO Detective not placed on leave after receiving a nude service during a pimping, prostitution investigation

Sutra Healing Center
KRDO
Sutra Healing Center

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said the investigation tactics used in an anti-prostitution operation "crossed a line" after an El Paso County Sheriff's Office detective, working as part of a CSPD task force, got naked and paid for a woman to perform a service on him while she was also nude as a part of an undercover operation.

The task force was investigating Sutra Healing Center for pimping and prostitution in late August of 2021. Court documents show that the detective met with a woman named Shirley King at Sutra Healing Center near the Security-Widefield area in unincorporated El Paso County.

During the meeting, the detective paid $100 as a deposit for a "party" he had arranged with King, where she would provide four to six girls who could dance nude and engage in sexual acts with those who attended the party. Documents allege King would not take the money directly, but asked the detective to place it on a "donation" table.

Then, during the meeting, the detective reported receiving a "body slide" from King. Court documents reveal that both the detective and King took off their clothes and the service was performed while they were both fully nude. The detective paid an additional $400 for the service. The documents show that King rubbed her genitals on the detective and touched his genitals as well. The detective reported he ended the service, despite her planning to continue. Following this service, they continued to discuss and solidify plans for the upcoming party.

Roughly a month later, CSPD's Metro Vice Unit staged the party with an undercover officer at an AirBnB in Colorado Springs. King arrived at the party with her boyfriend, acting as security, and four workers. The detective paid $1,800 to King for the party, King then paid $300 to each of her workers. From there, undercover officers arranged to pay for sex from each of the workers. At that point, officers busted the party and executed a search warrant.

King is now facing five counts following the investigation: Pimping, Money Laundering, Keeping a Place of Prostitution, Prostitution, and Pandering.

When KRDO reached out to CSPD about the investigation, Chief Niski released the following statement:

“As the Chief of Police, I will always be transparent with the community. Those who call Colorado Springs home deserve nothing less. I was completely unaware that this was occurring within the Metro VNI multi-jurisdictional team, and I view the tactics used in this investigation as unacceptable. As soon as this was brought to my attention, I immediately halted all investigations of this nature. To answer the question on many community members' minds, I want to strongly state that yes, this tactic does ‘cross the line’ when it comes to investigative strategies. I am appreciative of those who brought forward concerns and want the community members of Colorado Springs to know that this is an issue that is now being fully addressed.”

CSPD also confirmed that despite an internal investigation taking place into this operation, the detective who received the "body slide" was never placed on leave and remains on full active duty.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office added that he has been employed with their office since 2006, but deferred comment about the prostitution incident to CSPD, the agency leading the Internal Affairs investigation.

According to CSPD's Policies and Procedures, there are two levels of internal investigations -- Level 1 and Level 2. A Level 1 investigation is less formal and possible disciplinary outcomes are verbal counseling, supervisory discussion record, training and/or a written reprimand. A Level 2 investigation is more formal and possible disciplinary outcomes are any discipline available under Level 1, suspension, demotion in rank or grade, reduction in pay, and/or termination or dismissal from the department. CSPD confirmed this is a Level 2 investigation.

It doesn't appear that it's illegal for a member of law enforcement to receive a consensual service like this during an undercover operation. KRDO was also unable to find any part of CSPD's Policies and Procedures that specifically addresses this type of behavior during an undercover operation.

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Sydnee Stelle

Sydnee is an MMJ for KRDO NewsChannel 13. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

7 Comments

    1. Oh I’m sure the $500 was for the party planning, and the “other pleasure services” were just in appreciation for the business. And if you believe that . . .

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  1. “l Paso County Sheriff’s Office detective, working as part of a CSPD task force, got naked and paid for a woman to perform a service on him while she was also nude as a part of an undercover operation.”
    Well now we know why EPSO, CSPD, the county commissioners, and the city council are not going after the majority of the illicit m@ssage spas, it appears the services are to good to p@ss up, way to lead by example.
    “I was completely unaware that this was occurring within the Metro VNI multi-jurisdictional team, and I view the tactics used in this investigation as unacceptable.”
    That’s because this could qualify as entrapment Chief…
    “was never placed on leave and remains on full active duty.”
    Wow, I bet he learned his lesson by this punishment…
    “It doesn’t appear that it’s illegal for a police officer to receive a consensual service like this during an undercover operation. KRDO was also unable to find any part of CSPD’s Policies and Procedures that specifically addresses this type of behavior during an undercover operation.”
    But it is illegal to criminally charge a person for acts the officer voluntarily requested and received.
    “Criminal Code § 18-1-709. Entrapment”
    The commission of acts which would otherwise consttute an offense is not criminal if the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement official or other person acting under his direction, seeking to obtain evidence for the purpose of prosecution, and the methods used to obtain that evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the acts would be committed by a person who, but for such inducement, would not have conceived of or engaged in conduct of the sort induced.  Merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense is not entrapment even though representations or inducements calculated to overcome the offender’s fear of detection are used.
    Fruits of the Poisonous tree doctrine
    The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine puts a check on illegal conduct by the police by limiting or foreclosing the use and admissibility of that Governmental evidence that has been gained through an illegal search or seizure.

  2. Vice has NEVER faced repercussions for their actions, over 30 yrs I have watched them break the law over and over and nothing gets done.

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