Last edited: February 14, 2005


Judge Cleared in Sex Sting Case

Prosecutor Says Decoy Operation Using Undercover Cop at Airport Was Flawed

By Margarita Bauza

The Detroit News, August 7, 2001

DETROIT — The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office will not charge a circuit judge arrested last month after police said he agreed to engage in a consensual sex act with a man who was actually a Metro Airport police decoy.

Details of the incident involving Wayne County Judge Richard B. Halloran, who is on a paid 30-day leave in connection with the incident, are still unclear because officials would not release their report.

Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan said Metro Airport’s decoy operation was flawed.

"I’m not going to charge people criminally for what they thought was a consensual act between adults," said Duggan, who added that the operation appeared to unfairly target gays.

"We do not send female officers into sports bars to come on to guys to see which ones respond and then arrest them," he said. "We should not be sending undercover decoys into homosexual-act areas to do exactly the same thing."

Duggan referred to Halloran’s case during a news conference where he announced the department’s revised policies on cases alleging sexual misconduct in public places.

He acknowledged that his decision to not charge a high-profile person would raise eyebrows, but said he handled it as he has handled others.

Halloran could not be reached for comment. His attorney, John Allen, said, "The judge is pleased the prosecutor made the right decision."

The statewide gay rights organization Triangle Foundation applauded Duggan’s decision to clarify his office’s policies.

"We’d been pursuing this for several years," said executive director Jeffrey Montgomery. "This is an example of what happens when police activities are allowed to run unchecked. We’ve been working with hundreds of clients in the same situation as this judge."

The incident prompted the Wayne County Airport Police to change the way they police bathrooms, airport spokesman Michael Conway said.

"If the person that was arrested somehow feels the behavior was being invited, that would weaken the case," Conway said. "We are changing our procedures so that when we arrest somebody it would be more likely to be prosecutable."

Airport police began monitoring that bathroom after receiving complaints of unwanted solicitations, Conway said.

"This is a public restroom that’s kind of out of the way but is still accessible to children and everybody else," Conway said. "We wanted to stop this behavior."

You can reach Margarita Bauza at (313) 222-2069 or

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