Police on Thursday arrested a West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy accused of propositioning prostitutes for free sex, flashing his badge and threatening to jail them if they refused to comply, Baton Rouge police said.
The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office promptly fired Deputy Florian Deutsch, a corrections officer at the West Baton Rouge Parish Prison, as soon as Baton Rouge police contacted them Thursday about the deputy’s arrest, said Col. Richie Johnson, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
“As we’ve said before,” Johnson said, “we will not tolerate this type of behavior from our employees.”
Deutsch’s firing marked the second time this week that a Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has been canned. On Monday, Sgt. Brent Ballard, was fired when he refused to show up for work following a three-day suspension. An internal investigation revealed that Ballard falsely accused inmates of misbehavior and threatened some of them with violence.
The prison’s assistant warden also was demoted recently after the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint that he had made inappropriate comments to a female employee.
The investigation into the allegations against Deutsch began after Baton Rouge police received tips from confidential informants that a law enforcement officer was coercing women for sexual favors, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman.
It wasn’t clear how many women were involved. But the allegations leading to Deutsch’s arrest stemmed from two incidents: one in July and another on Thursday, both involving the same woman.
The woman called Baton Rouge police recently and told them a man later identified as Deutsch, 33, propositioned her in July through an advertisement on Backpage.com. When Deutsch showed up to a hotel to meet her, he showed her his badge and demanded free sex, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The woman told police he threatened to take her to jail if she didn’t agree to the terms, so she complied.
But when Deutsch contacted her again recently for a second proposition, the woman became suspicious. She demanded he pay her before the two met up. He agreed, except that he told her he couldn’t pay her until he received his next paycheck, the affidavit says.
The woman then worked with police to arrange a sting. Police monitored phone calls between the woman and Deutsch, the affidavit says, until he agreed to meet her at a Motel 6 off Airline Highway.
When Deutsch arrived to the motel on Thursday afternoon, knocking on the door to the room where the woman said she would meet him, police revealed themselves and arrested the deputy, the affidavit says.
Deutsch told deputies he was there to meet a woman for sex, the affidavit says, telling them that he agreed to pay her next week.
He also admitted to police that he produced his badge the first time the two met but denied forcing the woman to have sex, according to the affidavit.
Deutsch told detectives that the first meeting occurred more than a year ago. But when they asked how that was possible, considering he had only been working for the Sheriff’s Office for three months, Deutsch said the first meeting did not, in fact, occur that long ago, according to the affidavit.
Police did not arrest the woman involved in the sting, McKneely, the department spokesman, said.
Deutsch was booked into Parish Prison on counts of prostitution, abuse of office and malfeasance in office. The amount of his bail was not available Thursday night.