Part-time Vt. cop pleads not guilty to soliciting prostitute, obstruction

Published: May. 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM EDT
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A Washington County sheriff's deputy was arraigned Thursday on obstruction of justice and prostitution charges. Lynn Doney, 57, of Northfield, pleaded not guilty to both the charges.

Doney, a Northfield select board member and sheriff's deputy, had a longtime friendship with the male prostitute who lives at Harbor Place in Shelburne.

Court paperwork shows the man was a teenager when he met Doney more than a decade ago at the Barre Town ambulance service. Doney worked there for decades until he was put on administrative leave following his arrest.

Doney told police he lost touch with the victim for years but they reconnected via Craigslist ads. Their physical relationship has been going on for at least the past four years. Doney says their sexual encounters-- in exchange for money-- happened at least four or five times. He also told police he paid the prostitute a total of around $150. But Doney says the money was to help pay for the victim's rent and was not in exchange for sex.

Police also say Doney knew about an active DUI arrest warrant for the male prostitute. Doney didn't arrest him, something required of all police officers.

Harbor Place has had its share of incidents involving police in the past.

Some neighbors told WCAX News they have had negative feelings about the temporary housing facility since it's opened but they wouldn't go on camera.

Others say they believe Harbor Place is serving its purpose.

Perry Rianhard lives nearby. He acknowledges there has been criminal activity at Harbor Place but he hopes those against the emergency housing will be more supportive of it.

"It's a small price to pay for giving people who are really struggling in a community a safe place to be so that they're not homeless so that they're not in really harmful or stressful situations," Rianhard said.

We reached out to Shelburne's police chief to talk to him about Harbor Place but he wasn't available.