Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Orlando Weekly' Stops Adult Ads as State Drops Charges against Salespeople

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Orlando Weekly' Stops Adult Ads as State Drops Charges against Salespeople

Article excerpt

In a settlement agreement disclosed in court Wednesday, Orlando Weekly agreed to stop publishing "Adult Services" ads and Florida authorities dropped criminal charges of "aiding and abetting prostitution" against the alternative paper and three of its sales staffers.

Last October, following a nearly two-year undercover investigation in which Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) agents posed as prostitutes looking to advertise their services in the paper, three salespeople were arrested at a job fair and charged with aiding and abetting prostitution.

At the time, the MBI said it acted because the Weekly had refused its requests to drop advertising for escorts, massage parlors, and other so-called "adult" services that it claimed were fronts for prostitution. The law enforcement agency dubbed its investigation "Operation Weekly Shame." The newspaper charged that the arrests were retaliation for its investigative reporting over the years into MBI incompetence and misdeeds.

Under the settlement agreement, the arrested Weekly employees -- Christopher Matthew Whiting, Jarrell Brian Martin, and Katherine Casey Miller -- will perform 100 hours of community service, and the charges will be dismissed within nine months. …

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