Deputy still on job after prostitution bust

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sheriffSAN DIEGO — A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy caught in an undercover prostitution sting is on probation but still at work after pleading guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace, it was reported Wednesday.

Deputy Stuart Rea, a pilot in the sheriff’s helicopter unit, was charged with a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute following his arrest Jan. 23 at a San Diego hotel. His lawyer, James M.V. Fitzpatrick, said Rea pleaded guilty to the lesser charge June 4 in exchange for three years probation, U-T San Diego reported.

Rea also paid a standard $500 fine and showed the court proof that he attended an HIV/AIDS education course and a second course on the impact of prostitution, according to the newspaper.

Now that court proceedings have concluded, an internal affairs investigation into Rea’s behavior has begun, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell told U-T San Diego, noting Rea currently has an administrative assignment.

Rea, a married father of two in his late 40s, has been with the sheriff’s department since 1991.

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