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MB Man Enters Plea in Bathroom Sting Case

Eighteen men were arrested by Manhattan Beach police for their alleged behavior near and in a public restroom on the beach.

Jacob A. Dotson, the only Manhattan Beach resident arrested during a bathroom sting operation in March, pleaded no contest on Aug. 22 to an amended misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace.

He had been facing a misdemeanor count of engaging in lewd conduct, said a Los Angeles County District Attorney's spokeswoman. Dotson, 34, was sentenced to pay $370 in fines and penalties.

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The charge stemmed from an undercover MBPD operation in which police conducted surveillance of a public bathroom on the beach at Marine Avenue.

Eighteen men, ranging in age from 20 to 59 who lived in cities such as Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Santa Monica, Lomita and Los Angeles, were arrested.

MBPD acted in response to a request from L.A. County lifeguards who'd noticed increased pedestrian traffic near the bathrooms, the same people returning, some bathroom visits taking more than an hour, and two and three sets of feet in bathroom stalls, according to Officer Stephanie Martin, MBPD's public information officer.

The arrests drew widespread attention when media elected to publish the mug shots of the 18 men and their dates of birth and city of residence. MBPD had released the information.

Leaders of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center were upset that the police department had released the information and photos and that media published them, which, these days, includes circulation on the Internet, in spite of the fact the men had not been charged. They contended the men would be publicly humiliated, the Los Angeles Times reported.

William R. Jackson of East Sussex, England, has pleaded no contest to engaging in a lewd act. He was ordered to serve one year of probation.

Prosecutors declined to file charges against Glen B. Sears of Los Angeles, citing insufficient evidence.

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Matthew Smith November 01, 2013 at 02:04 PM
After Brian Couch's lawsuit, this could turn out to be one very expensive sting.

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