A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s Secret Service detail is being charged with soliciting a prostitute in a Maryland hotel. The Secret Service agent has been suspended from official duties after law enforcement arrested him walking out of the hotel.
The hotel manager was suspicious of the activity going on in one of the rooms which prompted them to call the police. According to CNN the agent in question was off-duty and did not present himself in an official capacity. A spokesperson for the Secret Service acknowledged “an alleged incident” occurred and that it involved an off-duty Secret Service employee. The situation is currently being investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility.
The spokesperson said that the former employee was forced to surrender his weapon and official gear and was placed on administrative leave. “We are exploring the full range of disciplinary actions,” the Secret Service spokesperson said per CNN.
Maryland law for prostitution and solicitation states it is illegal to:
– Knowingly engage in prostitution (performing sexual acts, sexual contact, or intercourse for hire).
– Make an appointment for prostitution or any act furthering the prostitution engagement is illegal and called Assignation.
– Operate a business or home for prostitution
– Allow a building owned by a person to be used for prostitution
– Allow a person into a building for prostitution purposes
– Solicit for prostitution or assignation (hiring a prostitute)
– Receive money or other earnings from a prostitute with the intent to promote or profit from a prostitution crime or concealing the source or control of the money from a prostitution-related crime is also illegal.
In Maryland, the crimes of prostitution, assignation, or operating or renting to a brothel are considered misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution are up to a year of jail time and up to $500 worth of fines. Receiving the earnings of a prostitute is also a misdemeanor but has stiffer penalties of up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 worth of fines.
This is not the first circumstance of prostitution or sex-related crimes involving one of the countries most elite law enforcement agencies. In 2012, two Secret Service supervisors lost their jobs for their connection to a prostitution scandal in Columbia. After a night of drinking the men brought women back to their hotel. According to the report, one of the women asked for money, but the agent refused to pay her. That’s when local law enforcement got involved.
In 2015, Secret Service officer was fired after he was arrested by Delaware State Police for his connection to a child predator sting. Moore was charged and pleaded guilty in a Florida court to one count of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and for attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor for sending naked pictures of himself to a detective posing as a 14-year-old boy.