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Menlo Park cop caught with prostitute keeps job [unlocked]

Original post made by Confession, another community, on Jan 16, 2013

[PLEASE. NO ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD PORN WITH NAMES ON THIS THREAD; YOU JUST GET IT LOCKED THAT WAY, AND THAT IS NOT IN THE COMMUNITY'S INTERESTS]

Sandy Brundage wrote a good story. She accepted and believed certain explanations about why Vasquez could not get prosecuted.

The Sunnyvale police officer who arrested Vasquez allegedly could not show up to the prostitute's trial for a ten-day period because of an alleged medical emergency with his wife. I hope the Almanac fact checks this by submitting freedom of information act requests on his time cards.

The prosector, Rob Baker, said that without a conviction of the prostitute, the charges against Officer Vasquez were hopeless, and he had to dismiss.

The point everyone is missing here is that Officer Vasquez CONFESSED to the Sunnyvale officer. That made the prostitute's conviction and testimony irrelevant.

The officer needed only to show up in court AT VASQUEZ'S TRIAL and testify to what he saw, and what Vasquez confessed to him.

The REAL STORY here is the cover-up, not the transgression.

Comments (28)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confession
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

The other set of issues relevant to the public interest here are the justifications used in law enforcement to institute what clearly seems to be a cover up in this situation.

If Vasquez were convicted of this offense, he would lose his job. Other law enforcement officers who even get a restraining order against them must surrender their firearms under California law, and effectively end their jobs also.

So, the justification is: a citizen who is not a law enforcement officer does not lose his or her job over something like this. Therefore, it's too harsh a punishment for Vasquez.

What do people think about this? I see just a few solutions:

1. Change the law so that cops don't lose jobs over certain criminal convictions. Of course, this makes it really hard for them to be testifying against someone they arrested for the same conviction.

2. The law is the law, they chose law enforcement, and if they mess up, they pay the price (even with their job).

3. The current system of it's not fair they lose their job, we can't change the law because of the effect that would have on their testimony (see #1), so we just work the system from the back rooms like what apparently was done here.

As much as I am against what I think is a cover up that took place here, the notion of someone losing his or her job over this is a valid point. What do people think?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

I agree that the story is the coverup. Look at ALL the players here.

By the way, the SF Weekly picked up this story, but alas did not credit the Almanac. Hope that is corrected:
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Logic
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

What you're saying is the cop still should have been prosecuted for the same misdemeanor that the prostitute was not prosecuted for... just because he's a cop. Discriminated against as a defendant because of his job, a job which does not place him in a special category as a perpetrator. Really? The guy wasn't out murdering children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confession
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

No, my opinion is that the prostitute should have been prosecuted also, and it's unfortunate that the Sunnyvale officer decided to "no show", and the prosecutor went along with it, in order to save the Menlo Park cop from a prosecution. In any event, even if you believe there was no set up, the lack of prosecution of the prostitute wasn't based on her innocence, but rather logistics, and shouldn't preclude the prosecution of the Menlo Park officer, Vasquez.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by standards
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

@logic - Yes, cops, of all people, should be held to the highest standard.

Why wouldn't you (and they) expect, and demand, that standard?

Or we can go out with your standards: "The guy wasn't out murdering children."

Tough call. Not.

That said: legalize sex workers, and drugs. Until then, anyone we give a gun to? Highest standards.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm


Take a look at this story about My Redbook at the Orange County Register: Web Link



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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Ok, the SF Weekly site inserted a credit to the Almanac, but they gave a credit to the Mercury News before they give it to the Almanac:


"According to The Almanac, Menlo Park had to reinstate the officer after he challenged the city's undisclosed disciplinary action against him."

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Story is up on Huffington Post now: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Please Resign. Get another job.
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

To those less informed, a good percentage of prostitutes are kept in the trade against their will by pimps. Some are victims of child or international human traffic rings. Police must be in the business of stopping prostitution, not feeding the demand!

This crime and coverup doesn't surprise me, but if there is no change in the way transgressors and court cases are handled, then shame on the system. One of too many problems in our society to address.

This individual should have the decency to resign. I don't want him 'protecting' me or my family and friends. If he must stay, put him on a trafficing task force with obligations to end prostitution (with lots of supervision!)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confession
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

From the Huffington Post story, Santa Clara D.A. Rob Baker has now changed his story about not prosecuting Vasquez.

Originally he said he could not secure a conviction without the prostitute herself being convicted, and the defense attorney knew this (Almanac article).

After I pointed out here how outlandish that statement is given Vasquez's confession, he now reasons:

Baker said he wanted to prosecute both cases, but when Ramirez "got the benefit" of having her case dismissed, it "didn't sit well" with him to continue to go after Vasquez.

One thing I do believe: if Baker gets caught doing something by Menlo Park P.D. (or any Bay Area cop), he'll get a pass on it too.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm

To Please Resign:

You are indeed correct that a good percentage of prostitutes are "victims of child or international human traffic rings."

The Lost Innocence Project at the FBI cites My Redbook, the site that Vasquez frequented, as one of the worst offenders for child trafficking. Not saying that Vasequez used an underage prostitute, but there certainly have been dozens and dozens of stings over at My Redbook, where they have found underaged prostitutes.

From NBC Los Angeles: Web Link

Anaheim police uncovered a child sex trafficking operation in Orange County, and think there may be more victims.

A federal grand jury has indicted a couple on charges of selling the sexual services of two girls, ages 14 and 17.

Detectives say they stayed in motels, paid for their rooms in cash and hired out the two teenagers as prostitutes.

According to a federal complaint, the suspects advertised the girls on websites like myredbook.com, claiming they were 19 years old. They were actually 14 and 17.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confession
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Lurker, you are obsessed with trying to link incidents of child prostitution on Redbook to this situation. This situation is bad enough. It didn't involve child prostitution. The fact the web site has those allegations associated with it doesn't mean Vasquez had anything to do with child prostitution when he saw this prostitute. He saw an adult prostitute. The controversy here is should he keep is job as a result of that, and did law enforcement engage in a cover up over that. When you introduce these allegations, as you have repeatedly done, all you achieve is the Almanac locking the threads, which I think Mr. Vasquez would thank you for. Please stop.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

No, Confession, I am not "obsessed" with trying to link Detective Vasquez to child prostitution. While he may have solicited the services of an of-age prostitute, the FBI will tell you that My Redbook is also heavily involved in child trafficking. Certainly just about every law enforcement officer in the country knows this, and readers here need to be made aware of it.

I should say that I investigated My Redbook and child trafficking for a national magazine in 2006. For the story, I interviewed FBI agent Mick Fennerty of the Lost Innocence Project. The FBI has made a point to educate law enforcement across the country about My Red Book and child trafficking. And my gosh: even San Mateo County law enforcement did a sting on My Redbook where they found underaged prostitutes. Here's a story from the San Francisco Examiner: Web Link

Because My Redbook is so entwined with child trafficking, NO law enforcement officer in their right mind should be going near the place - even to hire an of-age prostitute. It showed incredibly bad judgement by Vasquez to enlist the services of this place

For my story, by the way, I interviewed a girl who had been a prostitute at age 15 on My Redbook. Just heartbreaking.

Please educate yourself about this place. Lots out there. And read "Please resign"'s comment too.

It's just too bad Vasquez wasn't working to shut down My Redbook, instead of frequenting it. Too many women have been destroyed by this place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by corruption
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I don't want Vasquez, Brackett or any of these jokers showing up at my house when there is a problem. Although the POA will fight it, the citizens of Menlo Park deserve to know when the internal affairs division has scanned every officers phone records for calls to Redbook while on duty, and fired these individuals without pay or pension.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by offended
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:22 am

One of the issues was that Vasquez was doing this on city time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hypocrisy
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

What this officer did was far less egregious than what Al Gore did in a Portland Oregon Massage parlor. At least the officer's behavior was consensual. This double standard of going after people not in positions of power and giving powerful people a pass shows the true hypocrisy of our legal system.

The police officer should keep his job but not be allowed to work Vice cases.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:57 am

@Hypocrisy --

He should not be able to keep his job. He was doing something illegal on city time. He is an officer of the law plus this wasn't his first time. End of story.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

City Manager and the Mayor should take care of this.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hypocrisy: NO law enforcement officer should be enlisting the services of anyone who "works" for Redbook.

Every law enforcement agency in this country knows what a good portion of their business is - child trafficking - and that Redbook has been in the crosshairs of the FBI for some time.

Please read up on this place AND the people who run Redbook, ( some have felony records, and it's not just for being pimps). Check out www.sfredbook. com and take a look at their forums - like the "Underground " Message forum and see what its "members" are saying. It's not just a discussion about prostitutes, believe me.

While we know that Vasquez hired a prostitute who was 32, given the hundreds of articles that have written about My Redbook and its association with child trafficking over the years, Officer Vasquez was acting in a reckless and self-destructive manner by hiring the services of this "organization" that employs underaged girls.

I have said before, Vasquez should be working to take down a place like Redbook.

Too many of the prostitutes who work for Redbook are young teens.

I would strongly suggest you hightail it over to www.sfredbook.com and look at their forums.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Michael Stogner - you mean the City Manager who blabbed about it in public, in the presence of a reporter, thus also breaking rules?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Lurker, IIRC, people don't work for Myredbook; they place ads there for their services, from FBSM to full service. This means there are a melange of providers, incl the trafficked, the pimped & the solo sex worker. It's gotten to be even more popular since Craigslist shut down their section for sex workers. I'm not saying that they're nice people, but the ones who advertise don't have to be affiliated w/those who run it.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Michael Stogner: No. Given the subject matter, the City Manager would have a conflict of interest.

Remember, we only know about this story because of the intrepid Almanac reporter who overheard a conversation.

Is Vasquez the only law enforcement who has enlisted the services of My Redbook or are their others? What other incidents involving police officers don't we know about?

I hope the FBI is looking into this matter as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Hmm.... I am talking about the people who own Redbook and -more importantly the moderators, who do work for them.

I know a lot about Redbook and the people who run it, believe me.

If you do a simple Google search, you will be able to find the names of the owners, and more importantly the name of one of the moderators. He does indeed work for Redbook and he has quite the past. He - with his name - have been the subject on other topic forums such as "Topix." over at the Palo Alto Daily News. He's been the subject of lengthy discussion over at www.malesurvivor.org and www.websleuths.com; on crime blogs such as www.predatoralert.com, and www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com. He is well known to law enforcement.

I hope people who read this will take the time to find out who the moderator of Redbook is on their own.

That's all I am going to say. Do your homework, people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Off topic
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Would you stop repeating the info about redbook ad nauseam? You post over and over and over. We get it. Let the conversation go back toto the actual topic. Start a thread about redbook if you can't stop yourself from interjecting it into every thread and then the people who WANT to talk about redbook can do so over there. TIA.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Post removed. This is getting way off topic. The original story was NOT about Redbook, although we have had plenty of data on the site.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Off topic: How is it off topic to write about Redbook, when that is the site where Vasquez found his prostitute?

How is it off topic when San Mateo County police officers have done stings on Redbook themselves? Aren't you interested to learn about the moderator of Redbook, who has ties to San Mateo County? How is it off topic to write about Redbook, when two members of the San Mateo Sheriff's office posted a message on www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com in 2009, asking for any victims of the Redbook moderator to contact them?

Connect the dots.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Off topic
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Lurker if anyone was interested they already have your many many posts of the same info to look at. Repeating yourself over and over does not help your credibility. You posted. We can see the info and follow up if we want to. Let it go. Some of us want to talk about THIS case. And I don't mean where he found a hooker.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confession
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Lurker, you've made your point. It's a valid one. Please stop posting the same stuff about Redbook. It's just going to get this thread locked or deleted (whether you think that's the correct response or not). We all understand the issue: Vasquez obtained the prostitute while he was on working hours, from the Redbook site, which has had lots of law enforcement controversy surrounding it. It's understood.


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