Prostitution Case Against Ex-FDU Professor Hits Snag
Judge ruled prostitution website broke no laws, but prosecutor argues Internet "is a place."
The New Mexico State Supreme Court has denied a request by prosecutors to overturn a lower court decision that a prostitution website allegedly run by an ex-Fairleigh Dickinson University was not illegal, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
A judge had ruled that the website, called "Southwest Companions," broke no laws. Albuquerque police in 2011 charged retired Metro Campus physics professor David Flory and former University of New Mexico president F. Chris Garcia with running the site, which authorities say linked johns with prostitutes. Investigators told Patch the site was operated as a "hobby" and not for profit.
District Judge Stan Whitaker ruled that the website, an online message board, is not legally a "house of prostitution," according to the AP.
"Looking at the language of the statute, it's clear that the place of prosecution ...is intended to be a physical place," Flory's attorney Teri Duncan said, the AP reported.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Fricke argued the Internet "was a place" and the academics could be prosecuted, the report said.
The case brought attention on outdated laws in New Mexico and other states that don't outlaw prostitution-related websites. Tim D. Lewis, a New Mexico state representative, introduced legislation to include online activity in anti-prostitution laws.