Quinn — a 46-year-old assistant district attorney — has been allowed to keep his job but is no longer making court appearances or arguing cases, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Previously, he handled death penalty appeals cases for Gwinnett County, according to NBC affiliate WXIA-TV.
Why not fire someone facing a felony charge?
Porter told the newspaper that he doesn’t advocate suspension without pay and that Quinn is “performing limited duties.” such as helping to prepare documents for his colleagues.
“The questions that I have are still up in the air,” Porter told the Journal-Constitution. “His involvement in [the alleged prostitution ring], in terms of involvement in the organization, as opposed to being just a customer, the number of times that he was a customer, all those things are going to play into my decision.”
Quinn’s interaction with a prostitute was captured on video, according to court documents cited by the Journal-Constitution. The newspaper reported that the documents allege the assistant prosecutor was a member of an exclusive brothel known as the Gold Club, an illicit sex ring that operated inside an apartment complex across the street from the Dunwoody Police Department. Court documents maintain the ring had a “rigid organizational screening process,” according to the Journal-Constitution.
“A second escort service known as “Lipstick and Shoes” was allegedly tied to the Gold Club and was housed in different complexes,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
Authorities began their months-long investigation into both organizations after they received an anonymous tip from a concerned resident, police told The Washington Post.
Police said there is no disputing that the ring was a criminal enterprise and that they expect to make more arrests as the identities of the clients are confirmed.
“It is my hope that these arrests will send a strong message beyond this jurisdiction that these crimes will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” District Attorney Sherry Boston told WXIA-TV.
Quinn — who was identified by his license plate — is accused of setting up an online appointment with a sex worker and then having a sexual encounter with the individual in December, according to documents obtained by the newspaper.
Police said the sting led to the arrest of 29 women who ranged in age from 18 to 44. The women have been charged with prostitution, a misdemeanor, and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a felony.
Quinn has been charged with pandering, a misdemeanor and RICO violation. He was released on bond two days after his arrest, police said.
Quinn’s attorney, Noah Pines, said he questions his client’s arrest and the charges he’s facing. He said Quinn is an “outstanding lawyer” who has “tremendous support” from the prosecutors and defense lawyers in the state’s legal community. Pines said Quinn has a reputation for being “one of the fairest and most knowledgeable appellate lawyers around.”
“I have never seen any other RICO case target an alleged customer of an alleged criminal enterprise,” he wrote. “A quick review of the arrest warrants in this case demonstrate a complete lack of understanding, both by the police and the Magistrate Judge who signed the warrants, that an alleged customer of an alleged criminal enterprise, by definition, is not a member of that criminal enterprise.”
“How can you be a part of the RICO enterprise when you’re the one allegedly paying the enterprise?” he added, noting that he’s calling for his client’s felony charges to be dismissed.
Quinn’s boss appeared to agree with his lawyer’s description. He told the Journal-Constitution that Quinn — who has worked for the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office for “three or four years” — is “an excellent lawyer with a great legal reputation.”
“It’s just a stunning sort of departure from what I would’ve expected,” Porter added.
At a news conference last month, Dunwoody Police Chief Bill Grogan urged anyone thinking about participating in a sex ring to consider the consequences of their actions.
“Our message to anyone that would be interested in becoming a buyer and soliciting for sex is: Don’t do it,” Grogran said. “The people that you deal with, you don’t know their circumstances and you’re furthering a criminal enterprise when you do so. It damages families.
“I’m sure the buyers in this case, their families have been damaged, so I would certainly say don’t do it,” he added.