Coy Privette, a well-known Baptist preacher and family values champion arrested three weeks ago on prostitution charges, won't face additional charges in connection with a suspicious check written from his bank account that prompted the investigation leading to his arrest.
District attorneys in Rowan and Cabarrus counties said Friday that after reviewing the investigative file, they decided not to pursue additional charges against Privette, 74, or Tiffany Denise Summers, the woman he is accused of paying for sex six times in a Salisbury, N.C., hotel room between May 4 and June 25.
The Charlotte Observer quoted law-enforcement sources as saying a woman filled out a blank check with Privette's signature for $1,000 but couldn't cash it without identification, so she asked a friend to do it. Another check with Privette's signature for $4,000 was not cashed.
The bank told Privette about a suspicious check, the newspaper said, and he filed a forgery affidavit. The bank reimbursed Privette, and police began the investigation that led to the July 19 arrests of Privette and Summers, 32.
According to the Independent-Tribune in Kannapolis, N.C., Rowan District Attorney William Kenerly and Cabarrus D.A. Roxann Vaneekhoven said in a statement, "There is no evidence to support the elements required for the criminal prosecution of either Coy Privette or Tiffany Summers for charges pertaining to the checks in this case."
Privette still hasn't commented about his arrest on six misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting prostitution. A past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and long-time leader of the Christian Action League, he has in the past been one of the state's most vocal opponents of vices like gambling and alcohol.
On Tuesday Privette missed his second-consecutive meeting of the Cabarrus Board of County Commissioners. County Manager John Day told the Kannapolis newspaper that Privette notified him Monday afternoon that his brother was in surgery and he would not be able to make it to the meeting.
Privette has given no word as to whether he intends to remain a member of the County Commission, where he is viewed as a swing vote in a compromise in a controversial jail proposal that has been debated since 2005.
Privette's hearing for the prostitution charges is set for Aug. 22 in Rowan County. If convicted, he is expected to receive punishment no worse than probation, but Summers, who has previous convictions, could face jail.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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