Bil Browning

Beyond the Scandal: Indiana's BMV Head in Sex Sting

Filed By Bil Browning | October 07, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Andrew Miller, BMV, Indiana, public sex, sex scandal

Indiana's head of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Andrew Miller, was caught yesterday in a sex sting at a public bathroom after masturbating in front a plain clothes officer. He has since resigned his position.

There's been quite a bit of schadenfreude in the LGBT blogosphere today since Miller is a Republican, but I want to take a step out of the titillating scandal to look at this from another perspective. It's obvious that soliciting sex from strangers in a public restroom isn't the best decision and Andrew-Miller.jpgMiller has taken responsibility for that. But what if it was a political setup?

Seven other men have been arrested at the same location so far this year; all by the same two police officers. Other arrests from previous years have included other public figures. In one story the police claim they were there after recent complaints were filed about the restrooms but the Indianapolis Star reports the investigation has lasted for the past year and police know it as a "cruising" spot. Any investigation that has only netted eight arrests in ten months has to be a damn cushy job for those cops; there must be a lot of down time - no pun intended.

And who tipped off the media so they were present to film Miller leaving the jail after being held for almost eight hours on a misdemeanor charge?

I've asked for copies of the complaints from the Indianapolis Police Department. Let's see where this leads because I smell something fishy.

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Two things I'll never understand:

1) How people with a high level of visibility think they can get away with behavior like this.

2) Sex in public places: I can't think of anything less sexy than a well-used public restroom, but that's just me.

This brings up some other questions:

3) Has anyone ever heard of a woman caught in this behavior?

4) Miller is married with children. Does this make him bi, gay in the closet..?

I've lived in Indy almost my entire life, & am always surprised by the choice of cruising areas. Holliday Park, on the Northside, was notorious when I was in high school. The location where Miller was caught is barely 2 blocks from the Statehouse. And Miller thought this was a good idea?

I do have a hard time believing this was a set-up, although I wouldn't discount the idea that maybe certain people may get let off, rather than arrested.

According to Indy Star article, officers Eric Simmons and Todd Scrotum (or something like that) get paid to play with their dicks all afternoon and see if they can entice other men to masturbate and show them theirs.

How might I get a government job like that? Can I apply online?

Your Marion County property tax dollars at work --- Remember, next payments are due November 10.

Things like this make me cringe. I hate with a passion these homophobic police traps designed to target queer people (so desperately that the pigs need to hang out in bathrooms all day in a country where it takes them an hour to come to a 911 emergency in a poor neighborhood and they claim to lack resources to test rape kits). I don't care if this guy is a republican, I don't care if he is George W. Bush himself, anti-queer witch hunts are evil. I do not support prying into people's sex lives for the purposes of publically outing them as punishment and as a shaming technique (if a person is outed because their victims reported crimes, like in the Long case, that is a different matter entirely). That is anti-queer and it is bad for us all. I think I make no secret of the fact that I utterly despise the Republican party, which probably says a great deal about how repulsive I find things like this when I actually start defending one of them.

cat, I do find something distasteful in especially the Democrat delight in this episode. While obviously any sort of sex scandal is going to be political pundit fodder, it does seem that there's a particular anti-gay undertone here, a willingness to exploit society's views about homosexuality for political gain that is unbecoming of a party that nominally claims to be inclusive.

The question of why IMPD has money for these sort of sting operations is valid, especially as violent crime is going wild in the city, and the budgets of all local governments are under pressure, why is there money for a special anti-gay cruising detail again?

Joe-Allen Doty | October 8, 2010 1:26 AM

Homophobic vice cops tried to entrap me in a city park restroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma; but, I ignored them. I didn't know they were cops until about half an hour later when they arrested a heterosexually married man who looked like he was about 70 years old.

If video cameras had been installed in that restroom with one directed at the urinals and the other at the toilet stalls, it would have looked like the cops were the ones cruising for sex.

I have yet to read in the local newspaper or see in the local news that the TPD vice cops caught two men having sex in a public restroom.

I thought the same thing as some of you. Don't the police have anything better to do than put a couple of the more attractive ones in restrooms to entice men into wanting to do something? Is that not entrapment? These cops, I assume, do not just stand there and wash their hands! Now I don't think they would actually be touching themselves but who knows. I guess it depends on how much they want to arrest someone. I also agree Bil that I highly doubt that there were complaints. They just know men cruise there and that is why that along with other spots are also cruised by cops. But I think, why not be out on the streets trying to prevent more serious things from happening?

@Joe-Allen Doty: By the way, in today's world where cell phones with cameras are ubiquitous, both the actual cruisers and the vice cops are taking considerable risk. I'd laugh if one of these cops got his dick posted on the Internet after someone clicked a shot secretly, or did it openly and then ran like Hell. Also, the picture could be emailed off to someone outside the US in a matter of seconds. Imagine the IMPD having to go through the US State Department and the Swiss Embassy just to get an online photo taken down that was hosted on a server in Geneva.

@dturk: The vice squad will tell you that the issue is not gay sex, the issue is public sex. I have never heard of lesbian cruising in a women's restroom, but of course lesbianism occurs in women's prisons. Also, men, including politicians and other famous people, have been arrested or almost arrested for having sex with women in public places (Eddie Murphy and Hugh Grant come to mind), but usually not restrooms. In these instances, the woman is at legal risk of arrest just as the man is, but she usually is not charged or whatever ensues legally is not anything the press is interested in publicizing.

And as for proximity to the statehouse is concerned, remember that members of Congress have been arrested for cruising the men's rooms right in the US Capitol Building.

It is ironic that Indianapolis has a bathhouse virtually as close to the statehouse as that particular men's room is --- had Mr. Miller gone there instead, he could have had sex with other men legally, and depending on what gets his rocks off, it might have been more and better. But with a government salary of only $115,000/year, could he have afforded the admission fee?

Who wouldn't want to be the star of their own fantastic porn where one walks into a secluded bathroom and is suddenly and surprisingly approached by the Adonis of their dreams that just happens to be ready and willing right there to begin a passionate and clothing-lite love affair.

Sounds hot.

Only problem is this is fantasy. I've done a lot of stupid things in my life, but one thing I've never been tempted to do is have sex with a stranger in a public place. I can't deny that the concept may be hot; however, the idea of jail, fines, embarrassment, career destruction is, well, not. I value the work that I've done and the choices I've made far too much to toss it away for the chance of some fleeting, albeit pleasurable experience.

Not to mention that anyone who has ever accidentally found themselves in one of these cruising spots, or gone into a gay porn store, knows that the caliber of gentlemen that frequent these places seeking this oeuvre of experience is quite low. Nothing like those Colton Ford movies, that's for sure.

Now if I ever found Colton himself toe-tapping on the other-side of the divider, I might have to reconsider my zero-public-sex policy. Or I'll just be smart and pay for the damn econolodge down the street. Its considerably cheaper than the criminal-record burdened alternative.

I totally agree that some things are hot in fantasy; but that's why they're called fantasy. I dated a guy in college who was always pushing me to "get it on" in public places. He was pretty hot; the situations, not so much.

And yes, if Gus Mattox was standing next to me in a restroom, I probably wouldn't think twice...