Posted Oct 17, 2011 01:25 pm CDT
A former police officer turned private detective has been accused of setting up divorcing men for drunken driving arrests with the help of alluring women who pretended to have a romantic interest in their targets.
The private detective, Christopher Butler, has also been accused in a federal indictment of selling drugs for police and helping cops open and operate a brothel, the Los Angeles Times reports. His alleged crimes involved California police departments in San Ramon and Danville and a state narcotics task force.
The newspaper profiles one of the men who was set up. David Dutcher, a rocket engineer, met a woman known as Sharon on Match.com a few months after he separated from his wife. Sharon was blonde and beautiful, Dutcher recalled, and appeared eager for an eventual sexual encounter. On their second date, Sharon asked Dutcher to meet a friend celebrating a real estate deal at a restaurant. The friend was downing tequila shots and asked Dutcher to help finish them. Next the women asked Dutcher to join them at a home with a hot tub. On the way there, Dutcher was arrested for drunken driving.
The allegations of DUI set-ups came to light after a former Butler employee said the stings were engineered for divorcing wives and their lawyers. Sharon, it turns out, was a former Las Vegas showgirl employed by Butler’s detective agency.
Dutcher’s estranged wife, Susan Dutcher, said in a sworn declaration that her lawyer’s paralegal suggested she hire Butler to obtain evidence that her husband drove while drinking. She said she did not authorize his arrest, however. Susan Dutcher’s lawyer at the time, Mary Nolan, denied having anything to do with the hiring of Butler.
David Dutcher has since had his DUI conviction expunged with the help of prosecutors.