Miss America Will Testify In Sex Sting Cases

Tuesday, May 1st 2007, 7:22 am
By: News On 6

HAUPPAUGE, New York (AP) _ An undercover sex sting that used Miss America as bait appeared to be in trouble until the beauty queen said Tuesday she changed her mind and agreed to testify against the men she helped arrest.

Lauren Nelson, 20, worked with police in suburban New York to target would-be Internet sexual predators, taped for an episode of the TV show ``America's Most Wanted.''

She posed as a teenager and lured men into chatting online and meeting her at a Long Island home, where police and crews were waiting. Eleven men were arrested in the sting.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said Nelson, who is from Oklahoma, had told prosecutors she did not plan to return to Long Island to testify.

On Tuesday, the Miss America Organization said Nelson is ``fully cooperating with the law enforcement officials.'' Spokeswoman Sharon Pearce said that included the district attorney's office.

Given that Nelson actually spoke with at least one of the men arrested during the operation, Spota said he had instructed prosecutors not to present any more cases to the grand jury until they could ``determine her involvement.''

Spota spokesman Robert Clifford said he could not comment on assurances that Nelson would testify because the district attorney had not been directly notified.

Attorney Michael Brown, who represents one of the 11 men swept up in the sting, said he had the right to cross-examine the beauty queen if she contends that she spoke with his client.

``You've now made Miss America a witness,'' he said.

Related Stories:

3/19/2007 Miss America Lends Name, Support To Internet Sex Crimes Bill

4/24/2007 Miss America Goes Undercover To Catch Sex Predators

4/26/2007 Undercover Beauty