A Thomas University official — no longer employed by the school — is charged with solicitation of sodomy in Colquitt County.
Riddick Mathew “Micky” West, 51, 768 Parramore Road, Coolidge, was arrested Saturday by Moultrie police at his residence, with assistance from the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.
A Moultrie Police Department officer said West was arrested after he asked a male undercover officer how much he would charge for a sex act.
“West asked for an amount, and the officer responded with a dollar amount,” said Moultrie police Sgt. Daniel Lindsay. “ ... They actually agreed on a time and place.”
The suspect and officer never met.
West’s identification was determined through cell phone emails and texts exchanged with the undercover officer, Lindsay said, adding that the incident occurred Tuesday, Jan. 28.
A search warrant was issued Saturday in Thomas County for West’s cell phone. The phone was seized at the suspect’s residence.
Lindsay said police will download information from the phone.
West was released from the Colquitt County Jail Saturday on a $520 cash bond.
The suspect was Thomas University associate vice president for development.
“He no longer works at Thomas University,” said Al Park, Thomas University Board of Trustees chairman.
“It is Thomas University’s policy not to discuss personnel matters,” a statement from the school said.
Lindsay supervises the newly formed, five-member Moultrie Police Department Crime Suppression Unit.
“We had been having some complaints about prostitution and sex for money here in Moultrie,” Lindsay said.
The unit targeted a high-crime area for prostitution, street-level drugs and alcoholic beverage consumption by teenagers, among other offenses.
The unit looked at how to address prostitution after becoming aware of on-line ads naming Moultrie as a meeting place for prostitution.
“We began answering ads online,” Lindsay explained.
Police charged several women with prostitution in recent weeks.
Lindsay said women in Thomasville, Moultrie, Valdosta and Albany advertise themselves online as escorts, with dollar amounts listed for various sex-related services.
The ads are for actually for prostitution, he added.
During the process of answering ads for prostitution, officers found a male-for-male contact and responded to the advertisement to determine if it was related to prostitution.
An undercover officer responded to the male-to-male advertisement.
“(Mr.) West asked how much would be charged for a sexual act,” Lindsay said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.