OAKLAND (BCN) — A 21-year-old prostitute testified on Thursday that a former Oakland police officer gave her his phone number and solicited her for sex after he met her while he was patrolling a high-prostitution area in Oakland last year.
Testifying in the preliminary hearing for Ryan Walterhouse, 27, who is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one misdemeanor count of engaging in an act of prostitution, Dajah Brown said Walterhouse told her during their initial encounter on International Boulevard in early 2016 that she had an outstanding warrant that she needed to take care of but didn’t arrest her.
Brown said that when she saw Walterhouse, who joined the Oakland Police Department in 2014 and worked as a patrol officer, on subsequent occasions on International Boulevard he would say hello and ask how she was.
Brown said that later on Walterhouse’s interest in her seemed to be more than just friendly and she sensed that “maybe he wanted a date,” meaning that he wanted to exchange money for sex.
Brown said it seemed a little strange to her that Walterhouse gave her his phone number because “a police officer never gave me his phone number before.”
Brown said that on the morning of Oct. 1, 2016, after Walterhouse had completed his overnight patrol shift, she and Walterhouse met at a motel room in Castro Valley.
She said Walterhouse fondled her after he paid her $200 but they never had intercourse or oral sex.
Brown said she asked Walterhouse to leave the room because “It felt kind of weird” and “I just didn’t feel right.”
But Brown said Walterhouse stayed in touch with her and warned her about police undercover sting operations on International Boulevard on Oct. 13 and Oct 14.
She said Walterhouse later texted her that she “owed” him, which she assumed meant that he thought she owed him for tipping her off.
Charges were filed against Walterhouse last Oct. 20 and he resigned from the Oakland Police Department in December.
Brown initially testified that she didn’t have a pimp but under cross-examination by defense attorney Jyoti Rekhi she admitted that she had lied under oath and that she really did have a pimp.
At a hearing when Brown was out of the courtroom Rekhi accused prosecutor Sabrina Farrell of “coaching the witness” by advising Brown to admit that she had a pimp.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Rogers, who is presiding over Walterhouse’s hearing, said it was “perfectly appropriate” for Farrell to tell Brown to tell the truth and “correct what otherwise would be perjury.”
Walterhouse’s hearing will resume on June 16, when Rogers will hold a hearing on the defense’s request to have the prosecution disclose the identity of a confidential informant who approached police to provide information about Walterhouse.
The defense is also seeking the police report on Brown’s arrest in Oakland on May 24, saying it may contain information that would impeach her credibility.
Walterhouse’s lead attorney, Michael Cardoza, alleged outside court that Walterhouse “is being punished for being a police officer” because he doesn’t think the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office would file
criminal charges against anyone else who engaged in prostitution.
Walterhouse’s case is unrelated to a sexual misconduct scandal involving the teenage daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher who allegedly had encounters with numerous officers from Oakland and many other local law enforcement agencies.
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