Former New York Police Chief Arrested for Soliciting Male Sex Worker in Public Park

James Burke
James Burke at a press conference during his tenure as Suffolk County police chief. Twitter

Former Suffolk County police chief James Burke was arrested on Tuesday morning on multiple sexual misconduct charges.

As reported by the Associated Press, the 58-year-old, who once led the Gilgo Beach killings investigation, was taken into custody in Farmingville, New York. He now faces charges for offering a sex act, public lewdness, indecent exposure, and criminal solicitation.

Burke was Busted as Part of Prostitution Sting

Burke's arrest arrives as the result of a prostitution sting in which he allegedly exposed himself and attempted to solicit a male sex worker saying saying he was interested in oral sex at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, according to NBC New York.

Burke then attempted to leverage his status as a former law enforcement official to get out of the arrest, which was part of the operation spurred by repeated complaints about people soliciting sex in the park.

As he was being taken into custody, Burke asked the rangers if they knew who he was and told them that getting arrested would be a "public humiliation for him," Sgt. Brian Quattrini said.

Victims of Gilgo Beach Killings were Mostly Sex Workers

From 2012 through 2015, Burke led the Suffolk Country Police Department as chief of police. His time there placed him at the forefront of investigations into a string of murders across Long Island's Gilgo Beach area, the victims of which were predominately sex workers.

Burke was released from his duties after three years after he pleaded guilty to federal charges for assaulting a suspect. In 2016, Burke was sentenced to 46 months in prison for violating the suspect's civil rights and for pressuring police witnesses to help him cover up the attack.