Suspended central Indiana officer faces new charge

GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana police lieutenant
suspended after being accused of trying to get fellow officers to ticket
his ex-wife now faces a felony charge of promoting prostitution.
The
charge was filed Wednesday against Lt. Terry Austin of the Greenfield
Police Department after an internal investigation said it found text
messages that he offered two women $200 to have sex with him and a
visiting policeman from Florida, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1oxYlfO ).
The
internal investigation began after Austin, 42, of McCordsville was
arrested in April on bribery and misconduct charges for allegedly
offering fellow officers a $200 steak dinner to pull over and ticket his
ex-wife.
Court records indicate a friend who’s an officer with
the Port St. Lucie Police Department in Florida was in town visiting
family when he sent Austin a text message Jan. 13 asking whether Austin
had found him a date, and Austin replied, "I’m workn on it!!"
A minute later, records said, Austin sent a text to a woman saying: "My buddy’s got 200.00 will you
(have sex with) him??"
When
that woman resisted, Austin offered a second woman $100 to have sex
with him and another $100 to have sex with his friend, records said. The
second woman told police the plan was never carried out. She said she
had met Austin through an online dating site.
Police found no evidence the Florida officer knew Austin was offering money to the women for sex.
A telephone message seeking comment was left at the office of Austin’s attorney.
Before
his recent troubles, Austin had a good record as a police officer, said
Maj. Derek Towle of the Greenfield Police Department.
"I’ve worked with Terry for probably 23 years, from the time he was a reserve," Towle said.
"It’s all very surprising."
Austin has been a full-time officer 18 years.