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Closing arguments in 'Flush the Johns' trial in Hempstead

Walter Delaney leaves the Nassau County District Court

Walter Delaney leaves the Nassau County District Court on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Garden City man committed the crime of patronizing a prostitute even though he carried no money to pay for sex when he went to meet the woman, an undercover officer, in a hotel room last year, a Nassau County prosecutor argued Friday.

The law requires only that a person "pays or agrees to pay" for sex to be guilty of the crime, Assistant District Attorney George Michel said in his closing argument.

Charged with third-degree patronizing a prostitute, Walter Delaney, 55, is on trial in First District Court in Hempstead.

Michel said Delaney deliberately did not bring money with him when he went to the room on April 26, 2013.

"I submit to you, judge, he was going to take that sex," Michel told Judge Sharon Gianelli, who is hearing the misdemeanor case without a jury. She said she would render a verdict next week.

Delaney viewed sexually suggestive ads placed on the Internet by Nassau police and called an undercover officer, using the listed telephone number, Michel said.

Delaney then went to the East Garden City hotel, called the number again, and went to the room where the undercover officer said she would be waiting, the prosecutor said.

But defense attorney Leslie Rudman of Jericho told the judge there was no agreement to pay for sex, and police failed to document Delaney's alleged solicitation.

An undercover officer testified Thursday that Delaney solicited sex on the telephone, but that another detective sitting next to her was responsible for taking notes as she talked. That detective was not called as a witness, and Rudman said there are no notations about payment in the phone logs.

"Mr. Delaney could go to jail for one year and you don't take notes?" Rudman said in her summation.

Delaney was one of 104 men arrested in Nassau County in April and May 2013 in an anti-prostitution sting dubbed "Flush the Johns" that police called a "reversal" of their usual practice of arresting prostitutes.

More than 80 of the men have since pleaded guilty to some charge. Delaney is the sixth of the sting targets to go to trial. Four were acquitted and one was convicted.


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