August 11, 2010

Cop Fired For Role in Porn

Freedom, News 5 Comments

Mike Verdugo is a police officer in Broward County, Florida — or was until the Hollywood, Florida Police Department fired him over a role he played in a porn flick.

Verdugo, who served on the force for 10 years, appeared in the reality television show Design Star and was recognized by a fan, who had seen the porn film and who quickly posted a clip on the web.

HGTV’s Design Star dropped him and in January, Verdugo was sentenced by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with a year probation and ethics training for omitting the 15-minute cameo on his police job application a decade prior.

That’s not enough. Now city officials want him to leave the force entirely.

Per the Palm Beach Post, Verdugo made the cameo for $700 at age 22 — as a way of exploring his sexuality. His sequence involved a bondage scene, but no hardcore sex.

At the age of 25, when he decided to join the police force, Verdugo says it didn’t occur to him to mention the film on his resume when applying as a Lauderhill cop in 1999, or when he applied to the Hollywood department two years later.

Norm Kent, one of the attorneys representing Verdugo told the press that Hollywood has offered to drop its case against Verdugo if he “drops his case against them.” Verdugo refuses to back down. He sees this firing rooted in his sexual identity as a gay man, saying he has been facing discrimination since coming out in 2007. He filed a complaint when he was demoted back then — suggesting it is related to his coming out.

He is lobbying for the passage of ENDA, a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has been proposed to prevent gay and transgender people from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But there is more to this story than discrimination based on orientation — as though that’s not bad enough. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Verdugo’s appearance in a sex film. What’s interesting is that just this month, AVN held its Internext Expo in Verdugo’s city of Hollywood, Florida. The sudden need to have him off the force seems to us at Sex and the 405 like a knee-jerk reaction related to unspoken sex-negative views of the industry originating in that community.

The few that are reporting on this case from a human perspective seem to be focused on pointing out that it was only a one-time appearance and that it was only 15 minutes and that it didn’t include hardcore sex.

What if it had? What if it had been a hardcore series of porn flicks? Does that make Verdugo — or anyone — any less qualified to serve in any other kind of industry? The only difference between Verdugo and most other police officers is that his sex happened in front of a camera lens and he was compensated for his time — legally. That’s it. Think about it.

UPDATE: Verdugo’s case reaches settlement agreement. He wins. Read more…

Via KinkOnTap.

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...