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Norwalk sex sting charges dismissed, sheriff says case still open

Annie Zelm • Dec 4, 2010 at 7:07 AM

After a key witness fled the area, a Norwalk judge has dismissed charges against two men arrested in September in a Huron County prostitution sting.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard, however, insists the witness is willing to return.

Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge last week dismissed solicitation charges against former Firelands High School football coach Todd A. Pooch, 36, and John C. Kemper, 52.

Ridge's decision followed the city law director's determination that both cases lacked evidence without the woman's testimony.

The 47-year-old woman, a prostitute-turned-informant, had been staying at the Greenwich home of Douglas Lucas, 54, who was also arrested in September and charged with managing a brothel.

Lucas' case was forwarded to the county prosecutor. As of Friday, he had not been indicted.

Law enforcement officials said Lucas helped operate a prostitution website catering to customers interested in bondage and sadomasochism.

Police arrested Pooch and Kemper after investigators used the website to entice the two men to a Norwalk motel.

Once there, Pooch and Kemper paid the prostitute cash in separate meetings, according to Howard.

But the two mens' attorneys raised concerns about the operation.

Read the full story in Saturday's Register

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