The former chairman of the Long Beach Planning Commission has won a preliminary round before the state Court of Appeal in his battle against misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute.
The court ruled that the city's complaint against Richard Gaylord is insufficient because it does not show anything more than agreement to commit an act of prostitution. The law requires "some act" to occur besides simple agreement.
"What it means is, when we file a case of that nature we have to put in the specific act we're talking about," City Prosecutor John Vander Lans said. Vander Lans said he will appeal the court's Nov. 20 ruling to the state Supreme Court because the ruling leaves open what would be considered an act. "Our problem is, we don't know what an 'act' is" that the court believes must be part of the complaint," Vander Lans said.
Gaylord's trial was postponed until Jan. 20 in Long Beach Municipal Court. Gaylord, president of the Long Beach District Board of Realtors, allegedly offered $20 for a sex act from an undercover police officer posing as a male prostitute last April at Bixby Park on Broadway at Cherry Avenue, police said. Vice officers had been working in the Bixby Park area because of complaints about male prostitution.