Sandy Springs cop's prostitution busts questioned

By Joel Anderson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution When the sexual encounter was over and police…

Georgia (Mar 8, 2011) — By Joel Anderson


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When the sexual encounter was over and police officers were seconds away from storming into the room, the Sandy Springs detective told the woman she was under arrest.

"But we had sex," the woman said. "Can you do that?"

That question goes to the heart of a discrimination lawsuit that was recently filed against the Sandy Springs Police Department by the detective involved in the prostitution sting.

In the lawsuit, among a number of other claims, Jamaal Mayberry alleges that he was unfairly targeted for punishment after being suspended for two days without pay because of his actions during three undercover prostitution investigations in 2008.

The suit, which was filed in December, has brought to light the department’s policies and general handling of such investigations.

An informal survey of law enforcement authorities, attorneys, academics and other officials turned up no definitive answer for the woman who was arrested during that undercover sting on August 19, 2008.

But all of them were unanimous in their belief that Mayberry, the Sandy Springs Police Department and any other law enforcement officer in a similar situation should not cross that line during a prostitution investigation.

"It is not necessary to go that far to make a case," said Peter Fenton, a criminal justice professor at Kennesaw State University and former officer with Cobb County. "I can't imagine that a reasonable and prudent officer -- even one not properly trained -- would engage in sexual intercourse with a prostitute."


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