Edwardsville attorney Thomas Maag testified that on the night of Nov. 2, 2007, he thought he was getting mugged, not arrested by the Granite City police for soliciting a sex act.
At a hearing before Madison County Associate Judge Steve Stobbs on April 29, Maag said he was walking down a sidewalk by himself, heard movement, and then five or six police officers tackled him to the ground, handcuffed him and began to search him.
Maag was then arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Charges were later amended to soliciting a sexual act, a class B misdemeanor.
The hearing was held to decide whether evidence police inventoried from Maag at the time of his arrest should be suppressed. Maag's attorney, Clyde Kuehn of Belleville, argued that Maag was arrested before officers developed the necessary probable cause for doing so.
Kuehn is a former appellate court judge.
At the hearing, Kuehn asked Maag if he was doing anything illegal at the time he was arrested.
"Only if walking down the sidewalk in Granite City is illegal," Maag said.
In addition to his person, Maag testified that police also searched his car, which was parked and locked.
Maag's co-counsel, Michael Reid of the Verett & Reid Law Office, also asked Maag questions.
Reid asked, "Mr. Maag, did you suffer any injuries when you were tackled?"
"I'm not sure. I'm not a doctor," Maag responded.
Maag also testified he was about 50 or 60 feet away from his car when arrested, his keys were in his pocket and that his billfold was in his car.
Madison County Assistant State's Attorney Tom Gibbons also questioned Maag.
He asked, "Mr. Maag, isn't it true that when you were taken into custody you were -- you were located on the property of 2805 Benton?"
"I don't know what the address is where I was," Maag responded. "I was not on any property that I knew to be a prohibited place for me to be."
The charges against Maag state, "Defendant contacted Detective Lori Perkins, a person who is not his spouse, and offered her $150 U.S. Currency to perform an act of sexual penetration as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-12 (f), in violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-14.1 (a), and against the peace and dignity of the said People of the State of Illinois."
Gibbons asked, "Isn't it true that you had telephone conversations with what turns out to be Detective Lori Perkins prior to your arrival at that location?"
"That would require me to speculate," Maag answered.
Maag testified that he was talking to a female on the phone several minutes before his arrest.
He was asked whether the topic of a "girlfriend experience" or "sex" was ever brought up during his discussion and Maag said that they were not.
Gibbons asked, "Mr. Maag, isn't it true that you visited the Erotic Services section of the Craig's List Internet Directory?"
"I did visit the Craig's List directory," Maag testified. "I couldn't tell you what section, and for the record, Craig's List is full of lots of things, including motorcycle ads."
When Gibbons showed Maag a copy of an ad from Craigslist, Maag testified he did not think that was the ad he looked at because the telephone number on the ad he looked at was in brackets.
"I may be wrong, but it is my recollection that the phone number was in brackets," Maag added. "I don't know if there is any other difference or not, but that is my recollection."
Gibbons asked Maag if he was inside the boundaries of the property where he was taken into custody.
"Do you have a map, I'm not familiar with the geography of this area, so I'm somewhat at a disadvantage," Maag said.
Maag was shown a map of the location, but was still unable to recognize the location.
"This map is not helpful to me," Maag said. "It appears to be an aerial photograph, not a map."
Maag was asked where he parked his vehicle.
"It is my belief I was parked at the City park," Maag testified.
Maag later added, "Let's assume for the purpose of this discussion that I was parked directly across the street from this blue house."
Gibbons asked, "Are you -- are you testifying that you were across the street from the house when you were arrested?"
"No, I'm not testifying. I'm saying for purposes of trying to explain to you how far away my car was to me, I'm trying to give you a demonstrable aid," Maag responded.
Gibbons asked, "And just as an approximation, you testified earlier that was 50, 60 feet?"
Maag answered, "Give or take a little."
Gibbons asked, "Approximately to the north of the place where you were taken into custody?"
"I don't know compass directions there," Maag answered.
Gibbons asked how much money Maag had with him.
"Mr. Maag, isn't it true that at the time you were taken into custody that you were in possession of $155 in cash?" Gibbons asked.
"No," Maag said. "That is actually a false statement."
"How much money were you in possession of?" Gibbons asked.
"I don't remember exactly," Maag said. "I remember it was mostly one dollar bills."
Gibbons asked, "So, you don't know the exact amount?"
"I don't know the exact amount, but I know it wasn't $155," Maag answered.
Gibbons asked, "Okay. And how do you know that?"
"Because there was money missing from my wallet that was in my car," Maag answered.
Gibbons asked "So, you had money on you at the time?"
Maag responded, "I'll bet you have money on you, too."
Maag answered that he "maybe" had a telephone conversation about a "girlfriend experience." But when answering a follow-up question from Gibbons, he said he "never" mentioned a girlfriend experience.
Maag testified that he was only looking for "fun."
Gibbons asked, "So, you would state that you did make a phone call in an effort to have some fun?"
Maag responded, "Yes."
"To meet a girl who advertised on Craig's List?"
But Maag testified that the word "sex" was never mentioned and if it was he would have immediately terminated the conversation and that "rates" were never brought up.
Maag responded "no," when asked if he was given an address to go to.
Gibbons asked, "Isn't it true that you were told to call back when you reached the location of Madison and 27th?"
"I was told to call when I got to Schnucks," Maag testified. "I don't know what the address of Schnucks is."
"But, previously you identified the envelope with your handwriting that Madison and 27th at Schnucks on it," Gibbons asked.
Maag answered, "I don't remember what the directions say. They say what they say."
"But, those were your handwritten directions?" Gibbons asked.
"They appear to be," Maag answered.
"And those were made pursuant to this meeting or pursuing this meeting?" Gibbons asked.
Maag answered, "They were written about the same time."
Maag also said that he also knew someone who lived in a two or three block area of where he was arrested but was not on his way to visit them and has never been to their home.
Maag said his friend's name was "Dawn," but he would not give her last name and also did not know it because she recently was married and was a paralegal in the area.
He was also asked if he was married.
"I have never been married," Maag said.
Gibbons asked, "And the person you were having this conversation with was not your spouse, correct?"
"Well, that could be a logical inference based on the fact that I have never been married," Maag replied.
When Gibbons finished his line of questioning, Reid had further questions for Maag.
Maag said that he practices safe sex, has carried condoms on him in the past, that he was not looking to be a "pimp" and had never had sex with a prostitute.
Detective Perkins with the Granite City Police Department was also called to testify.
She testified that through various phone conversations with Maag, it was determined that Maag would pay her $150 for an hour of time together to include sexual intercourse.
Perkins testified that at first Maag would not answer whether he wanted to have a girlfriend experience but once she told him that she had to get off the phone, then he agreed.
Perkins said that Maag said his name was "Brad" during the telephone calls and that she gave him directions to the sting operation.
She said she was on the phone with Maag when he drove by the window she was stationed at and when he parked his car near Wilson Park, she notified officers waiting outside that it was okay to arrest him.
Stobbs took the motion under advisement and said that he would rule on the case soon.