WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A judge has found a former Pender County Sheriff’s captain guilty of soliciting crimes against nature, but threw out a charge of soliciting prostitution.
Earlier this year Wilmington Police pulled over Mark Sloan after he failed to use his turn signal. Someone else was in the car, and cops say the captain tried to pay the male passenger for sex.
During closing arguments the defense successfully argued that Sloan did not commit solicitation of prostitution because state law says prostitution involves intercourse, which the state defines as involving a man and a woman.
Emergency District Court Judge Shelly Holt sentenced Sloan to 18 months unsupervised probation, a $200 fine, surrender law enforcement credentials in the next eight to 10 days.
The prosecution says Sloan picked up the Raleigh man, who had been visiting Wilmington, back in June. Today that man, Alton Ross Jr., took the stand, telling the court his version of what happened the night Sloan was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and crimes against nature.
Ross said Sloan pulled over and offered him a ride. Ross got into the vehicle and said Sloan asked him if he was into guys. Ross said yes, but then told Sloan he was not into older white men. Ross then told the court that sloan asked him if he would let him perform oral sex on Ross for money. Ross also told the court that Sloan was willing to pay him if ross were to perform anal sex on him.
Ross admitted on the stand that he told Sloan if the money was right he would be willing to engage in the sexual acts discussed. Ross claims Sloan then showed him some money, and moments later, before anything had taken place, police pulled the men over.
Before Ross’s testimony today the defense tried to prevent him from taking the stand. Sloan’s attorney claimed the initial traffic stop was illegal, so the evidence that followed the stop should not be allowed. The judge denied the motion.