Detective investigating Debra LaFave has also been arrested

12:48 PM, Sep 19, 2005   |    comments
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By:Bill McGinty
Tampa, Florida - It was an undercover sting set up by Tampa Police at the Wyndam Hotel on Kennedy. Temple Terrace Police detective John Gillespie was offering a woman $140 to have sex.

Joe Durkin, Tampa Police: "It was at that point we stepped in."

It's a misdemeanor charge and if it were John Q. Unknown, it wouldn't even be news. But this John is one of the main case detectives on the Debra LaFave case In fact, John Gillespie is the detective who signed the search warrant which enabled police to take graphic nude photos of LaFave while she was in stirrups in a jail cell.

John FitzGibbons: Debra LaFave's lawyer: "Well, it's kind of ironic that this is the individual responsible for the very graphic and just outrageous photos of my client. Yet, it seems as if he has an interest in sex that is highly inappropriate and possibly illegal."

The Temple Terrace Police Department is downplaying the connection between this incident and the LaFave investigation. For one thing, they say he may have signed the warrant, but he wasn't there when the photos were taken and he didn't see them before they were sealed into evidence.

Gillespie is on paid leave and has been since the incident came to light on July 29th. The arrest of this detective for alleged morally corrupt behavior could jeopardize the Lafave case in front of a jury.

Fitzgibbons: "It looked like the incident happened in late July, but no charges until this week, which is highly unusual. And there is no real record of this ... It just doesn't pass the smell test."

Yet another twist in an already bizarre story, a story that has captivated the Tampa Bay area.

Bill McGinty, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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