West Virginia state senator charged with prostitution

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia state Sen. Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute.

A Marshall County court clerk says the Republican lawmaker turned himself in and was arraigned Wednesday morning on three misdemeanor charges. He has pleaded not guilty and paid a $4,500 bond.

A criminal complaint says Maroney exchanged text messages to discuss prices and set up meetings with a woman who has admitted to being a prostitute. He also sent her a picture of himself.

Police have been investigating the woman and say two people have already pleaded guilty to soliciting her for sex.

Maroney’s lawyer, Paul Harris, didn’t immediately return a message left at his office.

The 51-year-old Maroney is the chairman of the Senate committee on health and human resources.

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