ACLU Takes On 'Unconstitutional' Arrest

Episc. Priest In Bathroom “Gay Sex” Bust

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Another day, another bathroom sex sting! North Carolina Coppers nabbed Boca Raton based Episcopal priest Michael Penland for soliciting an undercover officer at a rest stop and then following him in his car. Another cop pulled Penland over, issued a citation for “soliciting for a crime against nature” and sent on his way. Penland is but one of eight men arrested in a three-month sting police cleverly called “Operation Summer Heat”.

As in the Larry Craig cruising case, the ACLU says the police overstepped their bounds and violated Penland’s constitutional rights. Floridian ACLU lawyer Robert Rosenwald tells Express Gay News:

The charge is brazenly unconstitutional.

What [Penland] did was not a crime. It’s not wrong to proposition someone and then go home. In a case like this, what is unconstitutional is the investigation targeting gay people and arresting [them] for conduct that is lawful.

ACLU officials say Penland, who has been married for 17-years, could sue the police department, but most probably won’t come out to do it.

When news of the arrest broke earlier this month, Penland has stepped down as a youth counselor at St. Gregory’s in Boca Raton and later resigned from the church entirely. He’ll appear in court for a hearing on November 7th.

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2 Comments

  • Mr. B

    A crime against nature? WTF?

    Trying to corner someone in a bathroom is illegal. Trying to get someone to go to your house or hotel room is not. Annoying, maybe, but seriously. What. The. Hell.

  • Robert-Chicago

    I’m surprised that he didn’t get tasered, too.

Comments are closed.