Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Testing the Limits of Academic Freedom

Fairleigh Dickinson professor accused of running prostitution website
A Fairleigh Dickinson University physics professor is in custody for allegedly running a prostitution website involving about 200 women and more than 1,200 johns, police said Monday. David Flory of New York City, who teaches on the FDU-Metropolitan campus in Teaneck, was arrested Sunday while sitting in a Starbucks in Albuquerque, N.M., said Lt. William Roseman of the Albuquerque police. Flory, who ran the site mostly from New York, owned a vacation home in Santa Fe, N.M., Roseman said. Flory was charged with 40 counts of promoting prostitution and other charges. He was being held in Albuquerque on $100,000 bail late Monday...
Lot's of academics who work for grants joke about being prostitutes, but this is the first one I've seen playing to role of pimp.
...Flory’s website, Southwest Companions, had operated for months before several prostitutes in Albuquerque mentioned the site to police and they began investigating late last year, Roseman said.

Users were split into three categories, and first-time visitors had to first gain the trust of Flory before gaining any access. Ordinarily this was done, Roseman said, by “sleeping with a prostitute.” The prostitute would then report to Flory what sexual acts the two had engaged in, as well as how much money was exchanged. After that process, users were designated as “Verified,” gaining access to a wider circle of women to choose from, Roseman said. If users became more frequent customers, their status was increased to “Trusted,” which gave them access to more women and more portions of the website, including message boards explaining how to avoid the police, Roseman said.

“They had descriptions of my officers, phone numbers they used, videos of an attorney telling them that if you get busted by the police, here’s what you should do,” Roseman said. “This was a website designed, managed and run fully for prostitution.”

The site also included message boards where users could rate the prostitutes with stars, including specific sexual acts, Roseman said.

Flory is alleged to be behind it all. “Anybody who was approved for the website was approved by him,” Roseman said.
 Sadly, if he weren't in the hard sciences, he could probably get away with calling it research.
Roseman said Flory told police he did not make money off of the website and instead saw it as a hobby, “a safe place for guys to find female prostitutes.”
That's what we like, dedication to your work, low pay or not.

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