A well-known Boston minister who blessed Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker following his election in 2014 was caught soliciting a prostitute as part of an undercover police sting, according to authorities.
A. Livingston "Archie" Foxworth and nine others were busted Tuesday afternoon during an “online prostitution sting," the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said. Foxworth is the senior pastor at the Grace Church of All Nations in Dorchester.
The Boston Herald reports that he tried to pay $150 for sex with Boston police detectives posing as prostitutes on the classified ad website Backpage.com. He was arrested when he went to a Pine Street address where he had arranged to meet the undercover detectives.
Foxworth and his attorney have not commented on his arrest.
Baker said in a statement that he was "saddened" by the news.
"The Baker-Polito Administration has made combating human trafficking a priority by working across state government to enact anti-trafficking policies and proposing legislation to give law enforcement more tools to crack down on trafficking related crimes," said Lizzy Guyton, Baker's communications director.
Foxworth was arraigned on Wednesday for paying for sexual conduct and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to return to court in July.
Also arrested as part of the sting were:
- Murat Inamli, 50, of Brookline.
- Zian Jiang, 20, of Boston.
- William J. Marchant, 54, of Norwood.
- Eswin Esteban, 39, of Chelsea.
- Benjamin Silver, 40, of Somerville.
- James M. Rose, 59, of Boston.
- Thomas Holt, 41, of Belmont.
- Nikunk B. Patel, 26, of Revere.
- Andrew Kyriacou, 51, of Hull.
Under Massachusetts' human trafficking legislation, offering to pay another person for sex is punishable by up to 2-1/2 years in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000.
"Human trafficking exists because sex buyers make it profitable,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement. “Part of our strategy is making clear that there are personal, social, and legal consequences for that behavior. If you come into Suffolk County to buy sex, you aren’t just participating in an industry that thrives on exploitation - you’re risking arrest and prosecution.”