FIRST ON 3: Judge sets aside former cop’s prostitution with teen conviction

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Submitted: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 3:22am
Updated: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 1:23pm

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County jury today returned a guilty verdict against a former Northwest Police lieutenant, but the judge set aside Michael Hayes’s conviction for participating in the prostitution of a minor.

It took jurors less than two hours to find Hayes guilty on both his charges, but minutes after the verdict was read, the judge granted a motion to set aside the prostitution conviction, ruling prosecutors never established the victim was a minor at the time of the crime.

“The definition the statute used to define a minor required the state to prove that she was less than 18-years-old, and she was not married or judicially emancipated,” Hayes’s attorney Geoffrey Hosford said.

When asked why prosecutors did not ask the girl those questions, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Thurston said he thought they had enough evidence to prove she was. In court Thurston argued the victim had a boyfriend, was living with her grandmother and was 17 at the time of the crime.

Hayes’s father spoke at his sentencing and told a prosecutor he did not know how he could sleep at night.

“He is his father, and family is family,” ADA Chris Thomas said. “However Mr. Hayes was a sworn law enforcement officer, and their job is to protect community and not engage in the activities that he was alleged to have committed.”

Hayes received a 45-day suspended sentence for filing a false police report. He will also have to pay a $500 fine and court costs. The final decision on the prostitution charge now lies with the NC Court of Appeals.

“We’re disappointed obviously,” Thomas said. “Again, we do respect the court’s decision, but we gave notice of appeal and we’re not done fighting to preserve that jury’s verdict.

Prosecutors say if the conviction on the prostitution involving a minor charge stands Hayes would likely face 13 to 16 months in prison.

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37 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Judge sets aside former cop’s prostitution with teen conviction"

2015 years 8 months ago

WHY is EVERYBODY in this debacle identified but the JUDGE? That’s what I want to know.

2015 years 8 months ago

I guess this means he has kept his certifications, this east coast is ripe.

2015 years 8 months ago

It was a visiting judge. He/she was right in the decision once the motion was made. The prosecution failed to provide proof of a major element of the crime.

Charles Bronson
2015 years 8 months ago

How many palms got greased here. Why would the ADA have to prove she was a minor when there is a birth certificate that proves her age? That should be obvious, the jury certainly knew this since they convicted him in 2 hours. How was he even charged with the crime if that fact wasn’t firmly established. It just goes to show how his father’s connection to the judicial system continues to manipulate the things as usual. If all the stories come out about this guy and how he has avoided justice all these years then corruption would be brought out and the truth finally be made aware to the public. He has already killed a girl in a traffic accident, sexually assualted a minor when he was a resources officer at Topsail high school, broke an elderly man’s arm during a traffic stop, and now committed these offenses that a jury of his peers convicted him of without a doubt. There are many other numerous offenses that this guy has committed that has been swept under the rug. Why was there a special judge in this case? Why was this case postponed numerous times with weak excuses like, “we don’t have a stenographer today”? And why didn’t Jon David try this case since it was so “high profile” according to him. The other original prosecuter who was to handle it handed it off all the sudden to this ADA. So what is going on here. There needs to be a serious ethical investigation because anyone in there right mind can see the corruption here. God help the next victim he preys on and their family. This guy was a law enforcement officer and instead of helping this victim he only took advantage of her just like all his other victims. Hell has a special place for this guy and all who have helped him prey on others. The pattern continues, but from here on out it’s now on you Mr. DA!

2015 years 8 months ago

But no department will hire him. Not with this and the ‘rumor’ of what he did in Pender County.