Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

5 arrested in Waldorf prostitution probe

An underage girl was arrested in Waldorf on Friday along with two women -- one of whom recently turned 18 -- and all were charged with prostitution. They were taken into custody along with a man and a woman who Charles County sheriff's officials say were running a prostitution ring out of a large Victorian home.

Patti L. Tippett, 45, who owns the 4,000-square-foot home, and Travis Morrison, 29, who lives there, were charged with four counts each of prostitution and human trafficking. Both are free on $10,000 bond.

The arrests came after a four-month investigation and an undercover sting operation, said Diane Richardson, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. Patrol officers had noticed "a lot" of traffic going up and down the long driveway late at night and early in the morning, Richardson said, so they alerted the detectives in the narcotics and vice unit.

Not long after that, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted sheriff's officials, saying that they had seen a 17-year-old's photo on the Internet advertising escort services. The 17-year-old, a Waldorf native, was, a "chronic runaway," Richardson said. The ad listed a phone number that officials said they linked to Tippett's house on Old Washington Road, which sits just behind a church in a quiet residential neighborhood.

"Our investigation was already underway, but when we realized a juvenile was involved, we stepped up the investigation and put a lot of manpower into it," Richardson said.
Two detectives went to the house posing as potential clients on Friday, Richardson said. When the juvenile offered sexual services in exchange for $200, officers arrested her, Tippett and Morrison, as well as Stephanie R. Wycoff, who turned 18 in June, and Maria R. Ward, 28, all of Waldorf. All have posted bond. The juvenile is in the custody of relatives, Richardson said.

Officers obtained search warrants and then seized computers, paperwork, client lists and other items to determine the extent of the prostitution ring, Richardson said. "We have a lot of work to do."

-- Brigid Schulte

By Michael Bolden  |  July 14, 2010; 9:11 PM ET
Categories:  Calvert , Maryland  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alert issued for missing Calvert man
Next: Man shot and killed in NE Washington

Comments

Wait, they arrested a girl for offering to have sex while underage?

Is it customary to arrest the statutory rape VICTIM?

[I wonder if there's a legal argument for arresting the cop on "solicitation of sex with a minor" charges? When you cross the anti-pedophilia and anti-prostitution legal beams, I think the resulting paradox field immediately turns everyone within a 1000-foot radius into a registered sex offender.]

Posted by: kcx7 | July 15, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

....don't be a twit. Don't cha know that if the minor initiates the criminal activity that they are responsible for it, even if, legally, according to prevailing legal theory, they're too young to engage in informed consent?

LOL it's funny, I was thinking about this just yesterday when reading about those 3 boys who were charged with attempted gang-rape of a 16 year old in Virginia.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 15, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

seriously a child is only responsible for their actions if adults want to prosecute them as a result. The standard excuse is that minors aren't capable of rationally deciding to engage in certain acts, one of them being "willfully engaging in sex with adults". But willfully *assaulting* adults, that they're entirely "capable of rationally deciding to do", so if a minor rapes an adult they are definitely going to do time for that.

It's all "ends justifies the means" logic. But here we are talking about layers upon layers.

All properly adjudicated by the courts of course.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 15, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

think of it this way
If Mary is over the age of consent she can legally have sex with and even marry John even if John is over 18, as long as the police don't feel that it would be politically feasible for John to be arrested and charged with statutory-rape as a result of having sex with Mary. But if John was Marys' *teacher* then it would be statutory-rape, regardless because not only is Mary incapable of consenting to sex as a minor but she's also under Johns' influence as her teacher, so it would be rape by coercion for two reasons, one that she is a minor and he is an adult and the 2nd that he is an authority-figure for her in her life.

Now if John is also a minor but is Marys' camp-counselor then technically John could be charged with both "regular" rape and statutory-rape.

And if Mary is under the so-called "age of consent" then forget it. It would be illegal for an *11* year old to have sex with her even if she initiates it, though of course in doing so she would open herself up to a cross-charge of statutory-rape.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 15, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

...the bottom-line is that anyone can be charged and convicted for any felony as a prosecutor chooses to go forward with it, a judge agrees to preside over the case and and a jury convicts.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 15, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Dubya1938 writes,"But if John was Marys' *teacher* then it would be statutory-rape . . ."

Actually, John would also be charged with child abuse, a more severe charge, because he is legally Mary's caregiver. Basically he would be guilty before proven innocent, not only in the press, but by the school system for whoch he worked. He will never work with children again as he will now have to register as a sex offender, unless he is found not guilty, but even then he will never work in a school again because of the incident. Who would hire him?

Posted by: connectixvpc | July 15, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

if i read this correctly, the police initiated their investigation because police officers on patrol "noticed a lot of traffic" to the house and not because of a citizen complaint.
so the police are just going around and counting the number of cars visiting peoples houses?
i don't like this.
it sounds like the people in the house refused a shakedown or charged a cop who expected a freebie.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 15, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious to see who shows up on this police confiscated "client list."

Posted by: matt_s | July 15, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

They seized the client list, too! Oh, shadiddy! Please please publish it. Please identify the low-lives among us.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

if i read this correctly, the police initiated their investigation because police officers on patrol "noticed a lot of traffic" to the house and not because of a citizen complaint.
so the police are just going around and counting the number of cars visiting peoples houses?
i don't like this.
it sounds like the people in the house refused a shakedown or charged a cop who expected a freebie.


Posted by: MarilynManson
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This sounds like an argument that only a John could make. Got a little frightened when you heard about the client list being seized, huh?

Posted by: forgetthis | July 15, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

its Charles county. doesn't surprise me. Those police do anything they want down there.

Posted by: digger76 | July 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Patrol officers had noticed "a lot" of traffic going up and down the long driveway late at night and early in the morning, Richardson said, so they alerted the detectives in the narcotics and vice unit.
-----------------------
So it's against the law to have people come over your house late at night? I mean were the patrol officers one of the cars that came at all times of the night and were turned away when then people of the house realize they were cops? I swear the police can solve all the important crimes, but the serious crimes they don't have a "clue" of what's going on.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | July 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

read the article. they noticed lots of cars late at night and early in the morning, day after day (presumably) most folks don't have overnight visitors day after day. they didn't do much except alert the vice team, which just kept the place in mind as they processed other leads. had nothing else matched up, nothing much would have happened. When they got an underage runaway advertising escort services from that address, well, that's more than a coincidence, and the comings and goings, so to speak, take on a different context. that's good police work. as for cops merely taking note of traffic, I'm all for it. they didn't move until they had more. a lot more.

Posted by: JoeT1 | July 15, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The block is hot. Everything is hot for that matter.

Posted by: mlombre69 | July 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, we can't allow people to trade sex for money now can we? Unless they are in the porn business of course. This actually makes sense to people?

Posted by: cduwel | July 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company