Tuesday, March 7, 2006

D.A. Lane Press Release Regarding Gassaway Arrest

Date: March 7, 2006 Media statement from Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane regarding the Mike Gassaway arrest. Approximately one week ago the Oklahoma City Vice unit was directed to a female who said she knew Mike Gassaway would trade out his legal services in return for sex with female clients. This female had originally been arrested by another law enforcement agency on a routine traffic stop at which time drug paraphernalia was found in her car. Otherwise this person had no prior criminal record on her. Without any promises made to her she made known the name of a prostitute to the Vice Unit who she claimed to have had this sexual arrangement with Gassaway in the past. She also advised police that her boyfriend had already hired Gassaway to represent him in a felony DUI case and that she had been bringing cash payments to Gassaway's office on her boyfriend's legal fee's which was of course perfectly legal. She offered to approach Gassaway to see if he would be interested in making a trade of sex for legal services. The Vice Unit put a body microphone on her and she then met with Gassaway last Wednesday at which time she represented to him that her and her boyfriend had no more money and that she would like to make a trade with him as her female friend had. She then named the friend and Gassaway expressed his willingness to do that and told her to come back the next afternoon to as he put it "working that program." The next afternoon, the female informant, with a microphone returned, at which time Gassaway invited her into his office, locked the door and they then negotiated in the amount of three hundred dollars being credited to her boyfriend's account for every time she preformed oral sex on Gassaway. Gassaway ultimately pulled his pants down, and about that time the police began pounding at the door. The police having been monitoring the phone or the conversation, Gassaway opened the door and was videotaped with his belt undone and his shirt hanging out his fly. He was then placed under arrest. Today I am filling charges on John Michael Gasaway for the misdemeanor crime of offering to engage in an act of prostitution. This crime carries as a penalty of up to one year in a county jail, and or a fine up to $25 hundred dollars. Under the law, offering to engage essentially means someone else has offered someone else money in exchange for a sex act. The public should also know that allegations of this kind are not only criminal in nature but violation of ethical rules governing the conduct of lawyers in our profession. The Oklahoma Supreme Court makes these rules and the lawyers working full time for the bar association enforcing those laws. The public should know that over 90 percent of practicing lawyers have never had a complaint made against them. Since his arrest, there have been several women who have called both the police and the bar association concerning Mr. Gassaway. If you have information concerning these or similar allegations against Mr. Gassaway, we would ask that you call Crime stoppers at 235-7300 and an officer will discuss this with you. Finally, on the night of his arrest, Mr. Gassaway and his attorney, Scott Adams, claimed that Gassaway was nothing other than the innocent victim of my office and the Oklahoma City Police Department. They claimed that the reason he got arrested was because, "we continue to come after him." They also accused that our 130 pound female informant forcibly unbuckled Gassaway's belt all against his will. In response to Mr. Gassaway and his lawyer's claim that the only guilty people in this matter work for me and the police, I'll just say this - This entire matter was recorded and real men don't make excuses and they don't blame other people for their own moral failures. I would encourage Mr. Adams and Mr. Gassaway to stop blaming other people and start excepting some responsibility."

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