A New Jersey college professor is under arrest in New Mexico, accused of running a prostitution website there.
David Flory was arrested Sunday while sitting in a Starbucks in Albuquerque, according to a report in the Bergen Record. Flory owns a vacation home in Santa Fe.
Flory is accused of running a website called Southwest Companions, on which men could find and rate prostitutes in New Mexico. Flory reportedly told police that he did not make money off of prostitution, or off the website for that matter. He saw it as a hobby, "a safe place for guys to find female prostitutes.”
However Albuquerque police didn't see it that way, and charged Flory with 40 counts of promoting prostitution and other charges.
Flory has been a physics professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey since 1969. He is married and is a grandfather. He is reported to be in his 60s.
The school said in a statement that it is "saddened" by the news.
“Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by the situation,” said spokeswoman Dina Schipper. “Since becoming aware of the arrest, the university has cooperated with law enforcement authorities as they seek to gain the most accurate information as part of their ongoing investigation in New Mexico.”
As far as Flory's job status, Schipper said, "We should know more as the days unfold.”
Police say the website was popular -- about 200 prostitutes and 1,200 johns used it.
Here's how the site worked -- first-time visitors had to gain Flory's trust before having access to the entire site. This was done by "sleeping with a prostitute," according to Lt. William Roseman of the Albuquerque police.
The woman would then report back on the encounter, at which time the man was designated as "verified," gaining access to parts of the site, and to more prostitutes. Frequent customers were then upgraded to "trusted," at which time they would gain full access to the site -- including how to avoid police.
“They had descriptions of my officers, phone numbers they used, videos of an attorney telling them that if you get busted by the police, here’s what you should do,” Roseman said. “This was a website designed, managed and run fully for prostitution.”
Police learned about the site after several prostitutes mentioned it late last year, sparking the investigation that led to Flory's arrest.