Poor Judgment, Worse Ethics

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 5, 1993 | Go to article overview

Poor Judgment, Worse Ethics


In explaining why there would be no criminal charges against television station KMOV for facilitating a meeting between a male prostitute and a Catholic priest, Circuit Attorney Dee Joyce-Hayes put things succinctly: "Bad judgment, and even poor ethics are not . . . indictable offenses."

The circuit attorney launched an investigation after the Post-Dispatch disclosed that the station paid the expenses of an out-of-town prostitute who met in a downtown hotel with the priest. The station hid recording equipment in the hotel room and aimed a camera at the hotel room window from the station's offices a block away.

The idea, the station said, was to get the priest to reveal the sexual adventures of other priests in the Belleville diocese. At the time several priests were under investigation for sexual misconduct; since then four have been removed. The priest apparently did not confide in the prostitute, and the station did not broadcast a story.

Ms. Joyce-Hayes was unable to find strong evidence that the station promoted prostitution: The rendezvous between the priest and the prostitute was not their first contact. …

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