Published Thursday, June 13, 2013 | 11:35 p.m.
Updated Friday, June 14, 2013 | 7:23 a.m.
It started with a hunch and a piece of cheesecake about one year ago.
A Metro Police patrol officer assigned to downtown had just witnessed a woman walking on Fremont Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Eastern Avenue, and a car driving slowly. He knew the area is a popular spot for prostitution and narcotics, and his experience told him their actions seemed suspicious.
He followed the vehicle, watched the woman walk to the car door, then walk away minutes later. That’s when he stopped the vehicle.
“Hi, Metro Police!”
“I am too,” said the man in the car as he showed his badge revealing him to be Metro Officer Peter Connell. “I’m trying to give away this cheesecake. I tried to give it to that girl.”
His story checked out, but the woman turned out to have an arrest warrant and a record of prostitution arrests. Those were the details outlined in a Metro Police report sparked by a three-month investigation into Connell. The investigation uncovered Connell’s history of soliciting oral sex from a 58-year-old woman, according to the report.
Connell, who worked the South Central Area Command for the majority of his 18-year career, now faces five counts of soliciting prostitution.
The 25-page report indicates the following:
Metro Police vice detectives tracked Connell from Feb. 7 to April 1. In that time, he made five trips to an apartment in the 5000 block of South Maryland Parkway to meet 58-year-old Mary Ann Moore.
On a typical trip, Connell would enter the apartment, and Moore would close the blinds. He would then exit after a period of time, and Moore, who was often spotted nude, would reopen the blinds.
The detectives noticed it was a repeating pattern each time a man entered Moore’s residence. On some days, up to seven men entered the apartment for varying lengths of time.
The detectives investigated one of the men, who explained that he was told the woman inside was a prostitute. He claimed that she offered oral sex for $30.
When the detectives questioned Moore, she admitted that she has about 50 customers who pay her for sexual services. She initially denied knowing Connell, but then later told detectives she met him in the fall of 2009.
She then told detectives he has visited her several times, but they only talked about religion and investing. Eventually she admitted that he often paid her $10 to $40 for oral sex.
A summons then was issued for Connell to appear in court on charges of soliciting prostitution. Moore was not charged in the incident.