Nat'l: Vice cop arrested for tampering after alleged prostitution arrest

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2/3/2010 – Houston, TX — A Houston vice officer is facing serious charges after he allegedly tampered with evidence and falsified a police report all in an effort to make a case against a woman who advertised online with her telephone number. The cop turned criminal suspect’s lawyer says he’s innocent.

Samuel Anthony Roccaforte, 57, is accused of arresting 45-year-old Phyllis Michelle Stokley. this past October for prostitution after she allegedly agreed to sex for a payment of $200. The problem? The woman was recording the entire encounter and claims her tape proves she never solicited sex and that the cop set her up and lied in his report. Apparently authorities took notice of the tape and have since arrested and charged Roccaforte with two counts of tampering with a government record.

Published reports of a small portion of the contents of the tape claim Roccaforte is heard saying, “Well, you did, you know you did, I know you did. There’s no audio, there’s no video. It’s gonna be my word against yours and who do you think they’re gonna believe?” Roccaforte’s defense attorney, Chip Lewis, says that tape only reflects two minutes of a 20-minute encounter and that the report filed by his client is true and accurate. Lewis has called the Stokley’s credibility into question, “I find it very hard to put this whore’s credibility ahead of a well-decorated, exemplary officer.”

Records show that Roccaforte called Stokely after seeing an adult online advertisement on Backpage.com under the title ‘Just call Kelly’ containing her phone number and a photo. Stokely agreed to meet the undercover officer at her apartment and once inside they moved to her bedroom. There, Stokely requested a ‘cash donation’ to be left on a table. When Roccaforte began blatantly talking about sex for money Stokely reportedly became suspicious Roccaforte was a police officer and stated she did not provide that type of service.

Roccaforte arrested Stokely anyway and stated in the police report that Stokley agreed to have sex for $200.

All criminal charges against Stokely were dropped. A police spokesperson said the conversations between Roccaforte and Stokley did not rise to the level of the crime of prostitution.

Roccaforte is free after posting a $4,000 bond ($2,000 for each count). If convicted he faces a felony record and up to two years in jail. A police spokesperson said Roccaforte was suspended with pay Feb 16. Roccaforte has been a police officer since 1981 and with the vice unit since 2002.

A quick public criminal record search in Harris County shows that Stokely has a DWI conviction and was placed on deferred adjudication for drug possession in the past.


UPDATES:

In Sep. of 2010 a Texas grand jury declined to indict Roccaforte on the two proposed criminal charges of tampering with a government record. This means Roccaforte will no longer have to stand trial.

In Nov. of 2010 JohnTV received the following voicemail from someone claiming to be Stokely’s brother and threatening to sue if we did not remove the article with Stokley’s name in it. In the message, the caller claims we call Stokely a “hooker.” Actually, that’s not true. The arresting officer may be calling her a hooker and the officer’s lawyer called her a “whore”, but JohnTV simply reported on the PUBLIC RECORD…. get over it.