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DPD Officer Ensnared In Prostitution Probe

DENVER (CBS4) - A Denver police detective who led the investigation into alleged prostitution use by a federal judge is himself now under investigation for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Lakewood, according to a CBS4 investigation.

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan (credit: CBS)

"I have not been arrested," said Detective Michael Ryan, 50, when reached at his home Monday evening.

Ryan declined any further comment.

Lakewood police Detective Timmy Marquez said Lakewood police contacted and detained Ryan last Thursday night at about 9:30 p.m. along the Colfax corridor.

"He was contacted but no charges have been filed at this time," said Marquez. "This has been forwarded to our investigation unit."

Marquez said the investigation is into alleged solicitation of a prostitute. He said there was no actual police sting at the time, but Ryan was detained as a result of "observations that were made."

Ryan works in DPD's Vice and Narcotics unit and was instrumental in the investigation that led to federal judge Edward Nottingham resigning in the face of accusations he had patronized prostitutes. Ryan has also served on a human trafficking task force and has been with the Denver Police Department since 1997.

Denver Police Cmdr. Matt Murray confirmed the CBS4 report saying, "He is being investigated by Lakewood Police Department for soliciting a prostitute."

Murray said the Denver Police Department has initiated its own internal investigation into Ryan and whether any departmental violations occurred. As that investigation continues, Murray said Ryan has been placed on administrative leave with pay and has been assigned to his home.

"He is assigned to the Vice and Narcotics Bureau … and investigates cases including prostitution cases," Murray said. "Obviously if these accusations are true its very concerning to us. … This is not what we would expect of a Denver police officer."

Ryan has had difficulties with the law before. In 2005, Jefferson County authorities charged him with felony menacing saying he had pointed his gun at other people during a road rage incident. But in 2006, a jury acquitted Ryan in the case. At the time he told the Denver Post, "It was a horrible deal."

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