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Nov 11, 2013 10:11 AM EST

Iowa State Professor Arrested In Prostitution Sting


Michael Spurlock, a 57-year-old Iowa State professor was arrested and charged Wednesday with prostitution in Ankeny, Iowa. The arrest was made following a prostitution sting by Ankeny Police at an undisclosed hotel.

Spurlock, who has been arrested under Iowa Code 725, is a tenured professor in food sciences and human nutrition in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Rob Schweers, program director for the senior vice president and provost, told Iowa State Daily that the university will decide on any disciplinary action against the professor after all legal actions are finalised.

Spurlock, who has been working at the university since 2005, was one of 11 individuals arrested in the sting that was conducted on Nov.6. Among eight men and three women, a registered nurse, a union representative and an insurance agent were also arrested.

Investigators carried out the successful operation by initially placing an ad on that garnered approximately 200 inquiries. Detective Nate Lampe of Ankeny Police told the Iowa State Daily that the suspect responded to the ad and contacted an undercover agent.

Lampe said that both the agent and the suspect met at the hotel in Ankeny and verbally agreed to a sexual act in exchange for money. That is when the police made the arrest.

Those arrested were: Erin Blue, 28, of Des Moines; Scott Daniel, 45-year-old registered nurse, of Pleasant Hill; Luis Epinoza, 40, of Denver, Colo.; Chris Gilroy, 61-year-old insurance agent, of Story City; Rita Gray, 45, of Des Moines; Thwang Chia Hlun, 25, of Des Moines; David Nord, 48, of Sleepy Eye, Minn.; Andrew Novak, 27-year-old mechanic, of Ames; Levi Riddick, 21-year-old student, of Bloomfield; Michael Spurlock, 54, of Ames; and Sabrina Williams, 21, of Des Moines.

All the suspects were charged with one count of misdemeanor prostitution. If convicted, the suspects might face up to two years in jail and a fine ranging from $625 to $6,250.

Ankeny Mayor Gary Lorenz hoped that this prostitution sting will send a word of caution to the community.

"Most all of the metro- area communities do this kind of operation on a periodic basis," Lorenz told Des Moines Register. "It's an effort to keep citizens and children safe. We are trying to put out an image that this is not going to happen in Ankeny."

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