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Curiouser and curiouser


Gazette staff June 23rd, 2005

Apparently we've fallen down the rabbit hole. Comes now Brian Bates, facing trial for pimping. Bates, 35, was charged with pandering a couple of months ago and went to his preliminary he...

Curious Copy

Apparently we've fallen down the rabbit hole. Comes now Brian Bates, facing trial for pimping. Bates, 35, was charged with pandering a couple of months ago and went to his preliminary hearing earlier this month, where a judge ordered him bound over for trial.

 

You remember Bates, who for years has called himself the Video Vigilante. He sped around town making videos of Oklahoma City prostitutes taking care of "johns" or clients. He always made a splash with these recordings and caught the attention of national media, church groups and city police, who themselves worked with Bates for years, bringing johns and streetwalkers to face charges over these lascivious linkings.

 

One might say he was the master of his craft.

 

Anyway, an Oklahoma City prostitute told the judge at the hearing that Bates paid her to act in videos, instructing her to set up johns to be caught by him on tape. She claimed he would give her between $40-$60 for each act (and now we know the going rates) in order for her to arrange these meetings so he could video them.

 

"Me and Brian had made an agreement that if he caught me, he would pay me 40 extra dollars," the woman told the court.

 

She told the judge she was required to have sex with the clients in a way it could be caught by his camera, then Bates would pay her according to the quality of the footage.

 

Following the hearing, Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane added two additional charges of pandering to Bates' original charges, increasing the possible fines and/or penalties for conviction.

 

At one point the woman indicated that Bates had made her mad when he photographed her having sex with a john. Bates' attorney asked her if she had ever hit the Vigilante when he made footage of her.

 

"I plead the Fifth," she said, the courtroom erupting in laughter.

 

She said Bates even approached her for a "Girls Gone Wild" video, which would make Bates mad as a hatter if it were true.

 

Bates maintains his actions were a humanitarian effort to stop prostitution and to portray the deleterious effects of it on an individual. The police say his little tea party has gone on too long and he's gone over to paying women for footage. His attorney says if pandering charges were true, he'd be the one getting money from the girls " that's what makes someone a pimp, after all, and the money is going the wrong way for that.

 

We've always been curious anyway as to why on earth a guy would choose this for a pastime. But we also find that it's interesting the cops went after Bates only after he shot footage of them beating Donald Pete, a large black man, which nearly provoked a riot. Curiouser and curiouser, we at CFN say.

 
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