Sen. Mike Maroney Arrested in Glen Dale Prostitution Case
GLEN DALE – A first-term Republican state senator from the Northern Panhandle is accused of soliciting sex from a woman after allegedly arranging at least two encounters with her in his hometown of Glen Dale.
Marshall County Magistrate Mark Kerwood on Wednesday arraigned Sen. Michael J. Maroney, 51, on charges of conspiracy, house of ill fame and assignation and prostitution. He is one of several men to be charged in a prostitution probe in the Marshall County city over the past two months.
Glen Dale police said Maroney, R-Marshall, sent text messages to accused prostitute Cortnie Ann Clark, 30, on multiple occasions from mid-May until mid-June and arranged meetings. Police arrested Clark on June 14 and charged her with operating a house of ill fame/assignation and prostitution. They seized her phone and found 4,000 text messages from various phone numbers allegedly soliciting sex, including Maroney’s, according to court documents.
Investigators attempted to search Maroney’s home in Glen Dale on July 29, but he was out of town on vacation. A subsequent search warrant filed in Pennsylvania allowed authorities to search his vehicle Aug. 3 while it was parked at Pittsburgh International Airport and retrieve his cell phone, which he had accidentally left behind.
Glen Dale police Chief Edward Vogel said his department still has not been able to perform a forensic search of Maroney’s cell phone, but investigators were able to use information on Clark’s phone that showed she was in contact with Maroney. Vogel said he filed the charges Tuesday at the direction of Marshall County Prosecutor Rhonda Wade.
According to court documents, the first contact between Maroney and Clark happened May 14 or 15, and quickly moved into the two discussing rates for Clark’s services. Maroney allegedly called Clark, and she later texted him back, beginning a dialogue.
“Is tonight OK?” Maroney allegedly texted Clark.
“Yeah, it’s 120 (a half-hour), 190” for an hour, Clark allegedly replied of her rates.
That conversation continued into the early morning hours of May 16, at which time Clark allegedly asked Maroney to text her a photograph of himself. He initially declined, and Clark allegedly told him she could not meet with him without a photo.
According to the complaint, Maroney told her, “OK, sorry, I could be a regular. … I drive by (Glen Dale) on my way home and would like to have an occasional stop.”
At the close of that conversation, shortly after 1 a.m. May 16, Maroney sent her a picture, police said. In the photo, police said he was looking directly into the camera, smiling and wearing a light blue polo shirt. After he sent the photo, he allegedly texted Clark, “Now can I stop by?”
Police said they compared the photo sent to Clark to one from Maroney’s driver’s license, and believe it to be the same person.
Investigators did not indicate if Maroney and Clark met that night.
On June 5, according to the complaint, Maroney texted Clark shortly before midnight and asked, “Can I stop by for a massage? Quick in and out.”
The two also discussed engaging in sex in a car, with Clark allegedly telling Maroney she could do a “car date” for $120. He drove to her Glen Haven Avenue house in Glen Dale, but police did not indicate whether the two engaged in sex. About 30 minutes after he arrived, the two texted again discussing his vehicle’s alarm going off during the visit, police said.
After the alleged encounter, Maroney texted Clark that he was “very nervous about being in a car.” They also discussed meeting again the following day. A search warrant indicates they planned to meet at Clark’s rental house late on June 6.
The last text between the two allegedly happened June 13, when Clark sent a suggestive photograph to Maroney.
Vogel said investigators are still trying to determine if Maroney engaged in sex with Clark, but their discussion of her rates rises to the level of soliciting prostitution.
“Once you’ve set a price, you’ve engaged,” Vogel said. “You don’t have to do a sex act.”
Maroney turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning at the Marshall County Magistrate Office. He was arraigned by Magistrate Mark Kerwood and released on $4,500 unsecured bond.
Attempts to reach Maroney were unsuccessful Wednesday, as his cell phone remains in possession of Glen Dale authorities. Paul Harris, Maroney’s attorney, was in court Wednesday and not immediately available for comment. Maroney and his attorney have previously declined the allegations.
Seven men have also been charged with conspiracy, house of ill fame/assignation and prostitution in connection with the investigation. They are Albert Richard Ingram, 80, of Moundsville; Eugene Joseph McClure, 52, of Moundsville; Spencer Phillip Atkinson, 30, of Wheeling; Justin Matthew Stocklask, 29, of Moundsville; Christopher Ryan Bartsch, 36, of McMechen; Seth Anthony Renzella, 41, of McMechen; and Zackory Slade McGee, 43, of Wheeling.
Ingram and McClure both pleaded guilty to the prostitution charge, while the house of ill fame and conspiracy charges were dismissed. Each received a $170 fine, while Ingram was put on one year probation and McClure placed on six months probation.
All charges against Stocklask were dismissed Aug. 20.
Clark’s attorney filed a writ of prohibition in Marshall County Court asking for the charges to be dismissed Aug. 19. Marshall County Judge David Hummel has not ruled on her case. Police filed additional charges against Clark in 13 other cases involving the prostitution probe on Aug. 21.
Vogel said more search warrants are out and additional people could be charged in the prostitution probe.