The mayor of Batesville, Indiana Richard C. Fledderman, 60, was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of paying a male prostitute with HIV for sexual acts. The prostitute was also taken into custody and charged with “prostitution, intimidation, and failure to disclose the fact that he had HIV,” according to the WGNtv.
Indiana police launched an investigation in July after 42-year-old Randy Wigle-Stevens told hospital staff that he had been sexually assaulted by the mayor a month prior. He added that as he was giving the mayor a massage, he tried to force him into executing sexual acts, such as kissing and placing his mouth on his genital area. However, they soon discovered that all “acts were consensual.”
In fact, the Indiana mayor openly admitted to investigators that his intent was to receive a massage from Wigle-Stevens – whom he discovered online – at his home while his wife was out of town, but he and the HIV-positive prostitute ultimately had consensual sex; afterwards, Fledderman reached into his wallet and paid him $170.
Another $250 was paid to Wigle-Stevens at a later date, and Wigle-Stevens says it was for the extra time he and the Indiana mayor spent together, during which they would talk about politics for hours. But Fledderman says the money was for blackmail.
According to IndyStar, after the mayor paid the prostitute for sex, Wigle-Steves informed him that he was HIV-positive. He then threatened to go public with the story if Fledderman refused to cough up more money. In fear that the world would know of his male prostitution scandal, he gave him more money.
The Indiana mayor has yet to release any comments on the matter.
Reporters asked Batesville council president Gene Lambert on whether or not he thinks the mayor should resign and he said: “I don’t have any comment on that question right now.”
“I think he has to share what his intent is and I think he’ll do the right thing, whatever that is. And we’ll address it at that point and time,” he added.
The three-term democrat was arrested and charged with one count of patronizing a prostitute. He was soon released from the Indiana jail on a $550 bond.
Mayor Richard C. Fledderman will be facing the judge on August 25.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]