Friday, April 05, 2002

Police: He wanted 'dirty' housekeeper

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — A man here wanted a housekeeper who was willing to be a little dirty, police say.

        Mervin Back, 59, is charged with soliciting after police say he propositioned an officer who was an “applicant” for a job Mr. Back had posted in the Middletown Journal's classified advertisements.

        The ad said simply: “House cleaning — part time. Light housework.”

        But, as it turned out, “he wanted a little more than his house cleaned,” said Detective Mike Staples.

        Monroe police began investigating Tuesday after several women reported that, when they responded to the ad, “he said it was not only for housekeeping, but sex was part of the job,” Detective Staples said.

        Thursday, Detective Kim Fogle, wearing a concealed microphone, went to Mr. Back's house on Apple Knoll Lane and acted as if she were a prospective housekeeper.

        As other officers listened in and the conversation was recorded, Mr. Back told Detective Fogle that he would pay her $12 an hour for cleaning his house and allowing him to have intimate contact with her, police said.

        As Detective Fogle was trying to leave, Detective Staples said, Mr. Back told her something like, “Let me see a sample of the merchandise.”

        Detective Fogle said she became nervous after Mr. Back said that if it made her feel more comfortable, they could go to the bedroom for that peek he wanted.

        “That scared me,” she said. So she used a code word to alert fellow officers to intervene; they entered the house and arrested Mr. Back.

        Mr. Back told the Enquirer Thursday, “It was just something stupid I did,” but declined to comment further.

        Detective Staples said he found no previous criminal record for Mr. Back, who was released on his promise to appear Monday in Butler County Area III Court.

        Mr. Back faces a third-degree misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.


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