City Pages – 2011-09-29
Chulalak Ratsbouth, the massage therapist who claimed the undercover cop investigating her enjoyed himself a little too much, has successfully gotten the charges against her dropped.
The St. Paul City Attorney let go of the prostitution charges against Ratsbouth during a hearing this morning, in which Ratsbouth’s lawyer had argued for dismissal of the case.
Defense attorney Ryan Garry’s guess for the reason behind the dismissal is two-fold. Firstly, Garry had argued in his motion to dismiss that the police officer’s conduct in investigating Ratsbouth broke police protocol and wouldn’t hold up in court.
Secondly, Garry said, the undercover cop’s actions were pretty sleazy, and would’ve been embarrassing for the Woodbury Police Department.
“What [the undercover officer] said was that he basically got a 30 minute handjob from my client,” Garry said. “And then he charged her. And that’s just dirty. I mean, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
Garry challenged the charges against Ratsbouth in two ways, arguing that the police hadn’t obtained sufficient information for a search warrant: According to Garry’s motion, the search warrant was based in part on second-hand information from a “concerned citizen” that a Fed Ex driver had delivered a package and found employees wearing lingerie.
The sleazier angle of Garry’s defense was the officer’s conduct once inside Oriental Touch massage, where Ratsbouth, working under the name “Victoria,” gave him a massage.
As the undercover officer described in his report, which Garry then quoted in his motion to dismiss, things went a little something like this:
“[D]uring the course of the massage, Victoria touched my buttocks, testicles and perineum. After approximately 30 minutes, she instructed me to roll over. During this portion of the massage, she repeatedly massaged my penis testicles and perineum.”
If that’s Saturday afternoon with your girlfriend, life is sweet. If that’s your undercover police investigation, it might not hold up in court. Earlier cases have set a precedent that police involved in such an investigation should stop the activity the moment the law is broken — anything more, and they could be in violation of due process.
Garry said he didn’t know whether Ratsbouth would pursue any kind of action against the police, but at least thinks the undercover who “investigated” her should get a talking to.
“My guess is that she just wants to move on with her life,” Garry said. “This undercover cop, whoever he is, should certainly be admonished, or at least trained in the proper procedure on something like this.”
Written by Mike Mullen