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Sheriff Apologizes for Gay Snare

By Andrew Belonsky

Sid J. Gautreaux III, the Democratic Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish, has apologized to at least a dozen men after it was revealed his office had been unconstitutionally charging men for "unnatural acts" after the men merely suggested having sex with other men.

Here's what we know: Over the past two years, Gautreaux's deputies have spent hours in a local park, waiting for cruising men to bring up the topic of having sex. Then, even though no money was exchanged and nothing carnal happened in public, the men were arrested. None were prosecuted because there were no crimes: "unnatural act" laws were repealed by the Supreme Court in 2003, a major development of which Gautreaux says he was unaware.

Now that he's been brought up to speed, Gautreaux apologized "to anyone that was unintentionally harmed or offended by the actions of our investigations." He also says his staff will no longer ensnare gay men in parks and that he planned "a comprehensive evaluation of undercover operations made by our deputies and will make changes to ensure better supervision, training and guidance."

And with that, Baton Rouge is brought into the 21st Century.

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