UPDATE: Jerod Prunty, an aide for U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., resigned this week after being arrested and booked with two counts of pandering.
Prunty was arrested in connection with an investigation of prostitution rings operating in Lafayette massage parlors.
Our media partners at The Advocate reported this morning that a congressional aide has been arrested.
Jerod C. Prunty, 47, an aide for U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., was booked with two counts of pandering, the Advocate reports.
We reached out to the arresting agency, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and learned that Prunty was arrested in connection with last week’s investigation of prostitution rings operating in Lafayette massage parlors. To read our story on that investigation, click here.
Higgins’ office offered this statement:
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of allegations against Jerod. His arrest is deeply troubling. Jerod has been placed on administrative leave, pending investigation and adjudication.
Should our office be approached during the investigation, we will cooperate fully. We are a Constitutionalist office, thus we have full faith in our judicial process.
The Congressman has complete confidence in the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office. Investigations like this are complex, and although we are shocked by this, we have faith in our judicial system and the authorities involved.
Our office will move forward without interruption. Our dedication to service is stronger than any challenge.”
From LPCC records, it appears that Prunty posted $25,000 bond and was released.
Prunty’s personal Facebook page and his LinkedIn profiles have both been taken down as of noon on Sunday. It also appears that several references to him on Higgins’ website, which appear as cached hits on search engines, have been removed.
Prunty is listed as an officer the Louisiana corporation Gulf Coast Trading LLC. The company has an office in Breaux Bridge. However, the corporation’s listing was revoked by the Secretary of State on Friday, records show.
Here’s the Louisiana pandering law:
A. Pandering is any of the following intentional acts:
(1) Enticing, placing, persuading, encouraging, or causing the entrance of any person into the practice of prostitution, either by force, threats, promises, or by any other device or scheme.
(2) Maintaining a place where prostitution is habitually practiced.
(3) Detaining any person in any place of prostitution by force, threats, promises, or by any other device or scheme.
(4) Receiving or accepting by a person as a substantial part of support or maintenance anything of value which is known to be from the earnings of any person engaged in prostitution.
(5) Consenting, on the part of any parent or tutor of any person, to the person’s entrance or detention in the practice of prostitution.
(6) Transporting any person from one place to another for the purpose of promoting the practice of prostitution.