News :: Crime

18 L.A. Men Arrested in Public Bathroom Sex Sting

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Apr 6, 2012
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Police recently arrested 18 men thanks to a sex sting operation that took place in a public bathroom in Manhattan Beach, CA., ABC news affiliate KABC-TV Los Angeles reported.

The ritzy beachfront city of Manhattan Beach is located in southwestern Los Angeles County.

Lifeguards at the Marine Avenue headquarters contacted local authorities after they noticed "vandalism" and "suspicious activity" around the men’s restroom. They also said they saw men "frequently using and returning to the same bathroom," and that some men were loitering around the facilities as well as inside the bathroom for long periods of time the article notes.

The police then set up surveillance around the bathroom and began keeping tabs on a number of websites where people were discussing the Marine Avenue bathrooms. The police soon had enough information to conclude that the bathroom was being used as a hookup spot for men.

Eighteen men were arrested for a number of different charges, such as engaging in lewd conduct in a public place, loitering around a public toilet for the purpose of engaging in lewd conduct, resisting arrest, indecent exposure, soliciting and more.

The men were released but have a scheduled court date or will be investigated further.

It should also be noted that KACB-TV published the mug shots and names of the 18 men who are only accused of the charges. They have not been convicted of anything.

In 2007 a Michigan-based advocacy group called the Triangle Foundation investigated a series of arrests in the state that were related to the Clayton Township police department trolling public restrooms for lewd gay activity.

"These situations have always been bad," public policy director Sean Kosofsky said, "but the fact that we just saw a wave of them all happen at once in jurisdictions where we weren’t hearing about them before makes us concerned that this is a response to [Larry] Craig."

Craig was a former Republican politician from Idaho who was arrested in June 2007 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of lewd conduct in a men’s bathroom.

There was also controversy last year, when a married visiting executive was killed by police in Newark, N.J., after running from arrest during a similar sting in a public park. EDGE reported about the subsequent controversy. Police in Northern New Jersey previously had been subject to criticism for a similar sting in the Palisades, the cliffs overlooking the Hudson River across from Manhattan and the Bronx.

Comments

  • RoyalOakNeil, 2012-04-06 10:43:32

    A response to Larry Craig ? What a load of s**t . Whilst the majority of these men may be married and on the down low, the fact remains that sex belongs behind closed doors. Get on the Internet, go to a bar or place a personal ad.


  • Milwaukeeguy, 2012-04-07 12:29:52

    One would think the the l.a. police would have more important things to do than troll men’s bathrooms - please!


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-07 13:35:23

    Totally agree with Milwaukeeguy.


  • londoncat, 2012-04-11 10:50:07

    I live in London UK and the police here used to behave in the same way. As far as I know they don’t do it any more - there are never reports of it. Seems LA cops are going back in time?


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-13 11:21:21

    Note that no one was arrested for having sex, just behaviour that might have lead to sex, or maybe not. Seems that the lifeguards could have put the chill on all this suspicious behaviour by dealing with each instance as it occurred. The police could have also just responded to the instances when they were observed, i.e., responding to a complaint as in any other crime. But, let this be a warning to guys cruising, if it seems to good to be true, then he may be a cop..


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