- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska lawyer who is claiming sexual discrimination after being accused of soliciting prostitution was denied a request by a judge for police records about any women who might have been let off or offered pretrial diversion on that charge.

Vincent Valentino, 67, was among 12 males arrested last summer during a prostitution sting in Lincoln. He pleaded not guilty.

At a hearing Monday, his lawyer argued that Valentino’s arrest was sexually discriminatory. Valentino and his attorney had asked the court to order prosecutors to provide records of any Lancaster County prosecutions of anyone other than males for soliciting prostitution between June 1, 2015, and Jan. 1 of this year, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/2rLh4xc ).

Valentino also alleged in court documents that, as a male, he was being denied an equal chance to receive pretrial diversion in lieu of prosecution. He sought Lancaster County documents that his attorney said could show a sex-based discrepancy between males and females granted diversion for the charge. Under pretrial diversion, a charge is dropped with the understanding it could be refiled if the defendant doesn’t complete the required programming.

During Monday’s hearing, Deputy County Attorney Ryan Mick said she’s seen no evidence that police heard or observed a woman solicit a prostitute and declined to arrest her, the newspaper reported.

Another prosecutor, Jim Rocke, testified that the soliciting prostitution charge isn’t specified as eligible or ineligible for diversion and is decided case by case.

The judge rejected Valentino’s requests.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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