Jonathan Higbee's picture

Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office On The Defense After Gay Sex Sting

Louisiana's Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office has issued a series of statements after its archaic gay sex sting practice that has gone on since 2011 came to light. 

Huffington Post reports:

The Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office sting was revealed on Saturday by the Baton Rouge Advocate, which investigated the arrests of at least a dozen Louisiana gay men since 2011 who agreed to consensual gay sex with undercover officers. In all of the cases, the men were arrested under the state's anti-sodomy law, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.

Technically invalid yet still on the books, the state's "Crime Against Nature" lawprohibits “unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same-sex or opposite-sex or with an animal” along with “solicitation by a human being of another with the intent to engage in any unnatural carnal copulation for compensation,” according to Louisiana legislature.

“This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

However, the Advocate also revealed that none of these cases had been prosecuted by District Attorney Hillar Moore III, whose office could find no evidence of any crime being committed by any of the arrested men.

Since the Baton Rouge Advocate's report on Saturday, the sheriff has issued two statements, starting with:

"When we receive calls from the public about lewd activity near our children, we have to respond," the statement reads. "Our park operations, conducted at the specific request of the BREC Park’s Ranger, were an attempt to deter or stop lewd activity occurring in the park near children... The deputies used a statute that they felt fit the situation in order to remedy the concerns of the parents and park officials."

After that statement ruffled even more feathers, the office released another statement to take more responsibility. 

"The goal of our statement was to express our intent to the public, which was to keep the parks safe. We admit, however, the approach needs to change. We are not making excuses, simply stating we will learn from this, make changes and move forward. We will be working with all branches of government to find a better solution for keeping our parks safe. Thanks to all for their input."