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Ex-cop busted for massage parlor extortion

A former cop allegedly pretended to be in law enforcement to try to extort money and favors at a massage parlor.

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A former police officer is facing serious charges in Lake Forest. Investigators say he pretended to be in law enforcement and used a badge to try to extort money and favors at a massage parlor.

Edward La Porte, 47, is accused of pretending to be a police officer. La Porte carried a handgun and ammunition in a shoulder holster. He flashed a police badge when he entered the Golden Spa massage parlor in Lake Forest.

"He stated he was acting on a complaint and he was there to conduct an inspection," said Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Jim Amormino.

La Porte looked official. What spa workers didn't know is that inside his clipboard he kept certificates and blank forms from his days as a police officer a decade ago in Illinois

Authorities say he convinced a worker to give him a shoulder massage, then asked for more.

"He rolled over and requested she massage the front of him," said Amormino. "The masseuse stated that they do not do those kind of massages."

La Porte got dressed, then allegedly asked for a $200 fee. A manager became suspicious and called officials with the Bureau of Licensing, who sent out an employee.

La Porte refused to answer questions and ran to his car. Deputies later arrested him.

No one answered at La Porte's house that he shares with his wife and daughter in nearby Mission Viejo. He works as a part-time security guard. Given his level of comfort during the alleged crime, authorities worry there may be other victims.

"This is the type of individual that gives law enforcement a bad name," said Amorino. "Police officers do not do this. They never request services and they never request money."

If you have information about this case, you're asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at (866) TIP-OCSD.