Sex bust plea deals getting a second look after Fox Files investigation

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - We`re learning more about the people busted for lewd acts in a St. Louis park bathroom and now changes are in the works by prosecutors because of our investigation.

Our recent Fox Files report revealed an unusual plea deal.  We told you about a man charged with lewd and indecent conduct who walked out of court with a littering conviction.  Now we’ve learned about 13 cases that have dropped off the radar.  They don’t appear in the public record.  It’s because most of them were pleaded down to littering.

It’s a result of an undercover sting by the St. Louis city police department at the Willmore Park bathroom, in St. Louis Hills.  A tip led us to a problem at the location.  We then found police responding to it.  We documented four arrests in a few days.

We’ve now obtained the court records showing eight men are now on probation after being arrested in the sting.  More than a dozen others are still working through the Municipal Court system, but it`s the 13 that don`t show up that most viewers are wondering most about.  It’s also what SLMPD Major Dan Howard said concerned him

He told us, “When you violate the law on doing something lewd in a restroom, that`s a serious issue we want you to address.  We want you to have a penalty, pay the penalty for that.  If you`re telling me it`s turning from what it actually is into littering, I don`t think that`s going to help us eliminate this problem.”

Today we’ve learned these cases will be handled differently, as a result of our investigation.  A source with direct knowledge of these cases told me that city counselors didn`t know early on that most of the arrests were coming from the same bathroom.  The reports simply give cross streets Hampton and Jamieson.

Court records also show most of the suspects are in their 50’s.  One man is listed at 90-years-old with a date of birth of 1925.

Follow Fox 2’s Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV