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representative Allen: Fear made me offer sex

Florida
representative Allen: Fear made me offer sex

Fear of the "pretty stocky black guy" who turned out to be an undercover cop made Florida state representative Bob Allen perform the actions that led to a charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, Allen told police in documents aired by the Orlando Sentinel.

Allen was arrested July 11 in a Titusville, Fla., public park restroom after he offered the officer $20 to let him perform oral sex, police said.

The charge, a second-degree misdemeanor, is punishable by a year in county jail and a $500 fine. Allen says he is innocent and that he will not resign from the legislature. He did resign late last month from the board of the Girls and Boys Town of Central Florida, cable TV station Central Florida News 13 reported.

He is scheduled to be arraigned August 23.

In a taped statement and other documents released last week, Allen, 48, told police that he was intimidated into offering sex.

"I certainly wasn't there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn't there to exchange money for it," the Sentinel quoted him as saying.

Rather, he said, "this was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park," Allen said. He said he feared he "was about to be a statistic."

Titusville police told the Sentinel that they were investigating a nearby condo burglary when they saw a disheveled, unshaved man enter and leave the park restroom three times. They decided to send in Officer Danny Kavanaugh.

In a statement Kavanaugh said he was drying his hands in a stall when Allen peered--twice--over the stall door, then joined Kavanaugh inside.

"This is kind of a public place, isn't it?" Kavanaugh quoted Allen as saying, according to the Sentinel. Allen then suggested "going across the bridge; it's quieter over there."

When Allen was loaded into the patrol car, the statement said, he asked if "it would help" that he was a state legislator.

"No," the officer said.

Soon after taking office in 2001, Allen was one of 21 Florida legislators to sign Gov. Jeb Bush's friend-of-the-court brief supporting the state's ban on gays adopting children.

In March he cosponsored an unsuccessful bill that would have enhanced penalties for "offenses involving unnatural and lascivious acts," such as indecent exposure. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

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