Ex-Allegheny County prosecutor with history of legal trouble charged with promoting prostitution

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A former Allegheny County prosecutor charged with promoting prostitution said he merely offered a ride to a friend.

W. Christopher Conrad, 64, was arraigned Thursday on a count each of promoting prostitution, criminal conspiracy and possessing an instrument of crime, which refers to the cell phone he used to talk with the woman.

"I don't think that Mr. Conrad is involved in any kind of prostitution," Patrick Thomassey, his attorney, said Thursday afternoon. "... We all have friends that do things, so we'll just face the charges as they come."

According to a Monroeville police criminal complaint, a Moon police detective was attempting to arrest a woman they identified as a prostitute during an undercover operation with both departments and Pittsburgh police Wednesday when she "made a spontaneous statement" that she didn't do anything illegal and her attorney, Mr. Conrad, was in the parking lot.

The woman, whose ad police spotted on a website, told police Mr. Conrad drove her to the appointment and was waiting in the lot.

When questioned by a Monroeville detective, Mr. Conrad said he "suspected she meets men as an 'escort,' " according to the complaint.

He said the woman told him she would be in the room for about an hour to an hour and a half. He then said that he went to a restaurant to "await her call to pick her up, when she was done, and [she] did call me," police said he wrote in a statement.

Asked how Mr. Thomassey would characterize his client's relationship with the woman, he said they were "just friends."

The accusations are the latest legal troubles for the county's former top homicide prosecutor, which include three DUI convictions, driving on a suspended license and two additional pending DUI cases.

A July 12 trial on the two DUI charges and a charge of driving on a suspended license has been moved to September. Mr. Conrad's licence remains suspended until November 2014, his attorney said. Mr. Conrad's license to practice law in Pennsylvania was suspended in August 2012 for two years.

Mr. Conrad left the district attorney's office in 1998.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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