James Yacobellis, Coconut Creek Cop, Busted in Boca Prostitution Sting
Photo by Keith Allison via Flickr cc
James Yacobellis, the Coconut Creek cop who made headlines last year after the force suspended him for a year and a half for improper conduct but paid him his full salary anyway, was busted after walking into a Boca Raton spa that was actually a front for prostitution.
Yacobellis, 39, is facing a charge of purchasing services of prostitution, and yes, he's once again been suspended with pay by the Coconut Creek Police Department.
According to an arrest report, in early June, Boca Police were conducting an undercover investigation on prostitution and set up hidden video surveillance at O Asian Wellness Spa and Massage.
The business allegedly catered to an all-male clientele who would pay for massages that would also involve sex acts.
During the first day of the investigation, detectives caught sight of Yacobellis handing over cash to a female employee at the spa, then entering a massage room in the back.
According to the report, the female employee straddled a naked Yacobellis and rubbed his inner thigh and genitals.
Moments later, Yacobellis turned over and the lights were dimmed. Twenty minutes later, the female employee was seen wiping off Yacobellis' genital area with a towel. He left after giving the woman a $30 tip.
Weeks later, Boca Police reached out to Yacobellis for an interview on the matter, where he admitted to having gone to the spa and paid $70 for services.
He also told investigators he had visited the spa several times before that and had been serviced by different female employees, according to the report.
While he said the massages were legit, he did admit to being touched in the genitals. He told investigators the woman kissed him and touched him and, at that point, he decided not to stop her apparent advances.
The Sun Sentinel reports that Coconut Creek Police Chief Michael Mann would not comment on the matter.
"We have an active investigation going on right now," he told the paper.
Meanwhile, Yacobellis is suspended with pay pending the investigation, which probably won't go over well with taxpayers.
In 2013, Yacobellis was embroiled in an investigation involving his threatening a teenager with a Taser. As he threatened to tase the teen, Yacobellis made the kid stand in a bathtub.
Yacobellis was placed on paid leave, where he earned nearly $90,000 in salary for a year and a half, while state prosecutors investigated his policing methods.
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