Cody Paine wasn’t planning to pick up a prostitute, or so he would tell Spokane police. He was just driving along East Sprague Avenue in a borrowed SUV on his way home to Cheney. It was sometime after 9 but before 10 and the mid-March night was cold and dark. Then he saw her. Dark hair, tan skin. Fit. Beautiful smile.
He pulled the green Ford Explorer over in front of Pete’s Auto and beckoned her over, according to police reports.
Marie Rosenthal asked him what he wanted.
“How much for a wiggy?” he asked.
She didn’t know what a wiggy was. In retrospect, maybe he should have taken that as a sign.
He clarified: “a B.J.”
“OK, 40 bucks,” she said. She instructed him to pick her up around the corner on Lacey. He headed that direction, but the transaction was never completed.
Instead, Paine came around the corner and was placed in double-locked handcuffs by Spokane Police Department officers Tim Ottmar and Ken Applewhaite. Paine’s license was suspended, so he wasn’t supposed to be driving, let alone driving along East Sprague trying to pick up prostitutes.
Ottmar told Paine that the police were in the middle of a special operation and that the woman he had asked for the wiggy was actually undercover police officer Marie Rosenthal. He then graciously offered Paine a chance to share his side of things.
According to Ottmar’s report, Paine explained that he had borrowed the car from a friend and when he saw the female officer he had stopped to offer her a ride and $40 for a B.J., should she choose to accept it.
Ottmar sought clarification on the term BJ.
“You’re trying to get an incriminating statement from me,” responded Paine.
Ottmar told him they were past that. Paine tried to explain that this was the first time he’d ever even tried to pick up a prostitute.
“I told Paine to clarify you were going to give her $40 and a ride for BJ, and he responded with 'Yes',” Ottmar wrote in his report.
Unfortunately for the greater goals of the prostitution reduction special emphasis operation — impounding cars and charging a $500 impound fee — the car was not registered in Paine’s name. According to the report, Paine requested that officers lock the vehicle and leave it at the location. Officers attempted to reach the registered owner in Lewiston, Idaho, but to no avail. Paine could not be reached for comment.
Two other men had their vehicles impounded during the special emphasis March 18
. Neither has been charged with patronizing a prostitute at this time. More about SPD's efforts to drive prostitutes off East Sprague can be found in this story.
City of Spokane Prosecutor Justin Bingham was out of the office and not available to comment on whether the other men will be charged in the future.