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Alleged HIV-positive transvestite prostitute skips court hearing

By Mark Gokavi - Staff Writer

A man calling himself “Jennifer” who police said is an HIV-positive transvestite prostitute failed to show up for his suppression hearing Tuesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Thomas Brooks, 28, of Charlotte, N.C., faces a third-degree felony for engaging in solicitation after an HIV-positive test and two counts of possession of criminal tools.

Dayton police Sgt. Chris Fischer said Brooks was caught during an operation after Brooks allegedly posted a prostitution advertisement on Backpage.com when he was in town for a March gay pageant in Dayton. Court documents show that after being arrested and advised of his rights, Brooks told detectives he is HIV positive.

“They infect other people,” Fischer said. “If you see some of the evidence we’ve collected from his phone, the men he’s been with having unprotected sex, you’ll know why we do what we do. We get people like this off the street. They’re a danger not only to themselves, but to other people. There should be a nationwide warrant issued for him.”

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Michael Tucker issued a warrant without bond not long after Tuesday’s hearing, in which Brooks’ attorney was hoping to get some evidence suppressed.

“He doesn’t want to face the facts that we have a great case against him,” Fischer said. “We have overwhelming evidence against him and this was just a motion to suppress evidence… . We did everything by the book.”

In his advertisement, Brooks allegedly wrote that he was a “hotter than ever, sweet and sassy Caucasian, passable, blond, blue-eyed” transvestite with three prices listed for various services and that “you know the drill.”

Fischer said an undercover detective met Brooks for a drink where the defendant detailed the sex act and the price. Brooks was then arrested and police obtained a search warrant for his hotel room, where they recovered methamphetamines and the cell phone used to set up the meeting.

Brooks’ bond was originally set at $250,000 but was lowered to $25,000 and then to $10,000. Brooks then posted bond. Brooks pleaded not guilty during a May 22 hearing.

Brooks’ attorneys, L. Patrick Mulligan and Associates, filed a motion to suppress any and all evidence in part because police officers lacked probable cause to arrest and that “the facts will show that the police relied upon unreliable testimony from a non-reliable informant.”

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