Law Enforcement | News | Palm Springs

Judge Rules In Favor Of Palm Springs Police In Warm Sands Trial

After a trial that lasted almost two weeks, a California judge this week refused to dismiss charges for 19 men arrested in the the Warm Sands sex sting operation, instead ruling in favor of the Palm Springs police department. Superior Court Judge David Downing said in his judgement: "These 19 men were not being arrested for being gay, they were arrested for having sex in a public place."

Ps "Downing said he sided with the prosecution despite revelations of 'derogatory' comments made during the police action by the former Palm Springs police chief and a sergeant in charge of the operation. 'Men were clearly engaging in public sex and the police could no longer ignore that,' Downing said. “Maybe they should have done it differently, but that's not my call.'”

"The decision came as a disappointing blow to the defense, which had argued that the sting was an example of the department's 'selective enforcement” against gays. 'I think evidence shows that the Palm Springs Police Department is obsessed with getting the gay guy,' said defense attorney Roger Tansey in court."

"The defense argued that while there have been numerous reports of public sex between heterosexuals in Palm Springs, 'straight people' had never been subjected to similar stings."

One of the defense attorneys claims that the police are simply anti-gay: "They are obsessed with getting the gay guys," attorney Roger Tansey said.  Another defense lawyer said no police records supported the idea that Warm Sands residents were complaining about men having gay sex in public, as police claimed after the June 2009 sting.

Last month, the city's Chief of Police David Dominguez resigned due to criticism he faced for using the phrase 'filthy motherf**kers' while referring to gay men involved in the sting operation.

Watch a KPSP report on the outcome of the trial, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. @Michael C,

    You say most L.E. are not gay friendly and prone to abuse of power. I'm not going to argue the point since I at least partially agree. But at the same time, 'Radical' [leftist 'Progressive'] gays don't champion crime victim's rights [leftist 'Progressives' 99% of the time champion the rights of criminal defendant first over crime victim rights...everybody knows this], don't believe in gun ownership, and most would without a doubt believe people like those who defend themselves, their homes, their property, especially forcefully with a firearm, should be charged with a crime.

    Leftist 'Progressives' hate cops and the legal system, but when assaulted or the victims of crime, they go whining to cops and the courts instead of defending themselves.

    I don't get it.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 6, 2011 10:40:43 AM

  2. Public consensual sex between two adults, gay or straight, is generally not appropriate and probably deserves to be be discouraged, but the participants should not be identified as sex offenders. Let's reserve that pejorative for serious sex criminals, like rapists and child molesters.

    And bad cop behavior doesn't trump the fact that these jerks committed a crime.

    Posted by: Joe in CT | Feb 6, 2011 11:32:17 AM

  3. Palm Springs is a gay city that thrives off the gay dollar. If HETROS think they can push us around and dictate us...they've got another thing coming. our community is strong and does not p*ssy around. Believe that.

    Posted by: Realist | Feb 6, 2011 1:09:53 PM

  4. These allegations against patrons of a well-known gay establishment are false; “public sex” is not what was happening. This was a “sting operation” using coercion to entrap and the cops, public, and the judge all know it. There are laws against “public nudity” and those that “flash” and “streak” in public are subject to prosecution; everyone knows that. But nude patrons in commercial establishments that cater to health and recreation enthusiasts such as gyms and bath houses are not subject to prosecution for “public nudity.” Such things are incidental to those venues. Everyone knows this and they are at liberty to patronize them if they choose or not if it offends them.
    Just saying…these cops knew what they were doing; harassing “gays” and doing it with “prejudice.” They know it, the public knows it, and the judge knows it. They are being obtuse to deflect attention from their prejudice!

    Posted by: Bad Humor Boy | Feb 7, 2011 9:24:01 AM

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