Cedar Rapids woman suspected of prostitution; 'very cooperative' man not arrested

Cases can be difficult to prove without help, police say

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A 27-year-old Cedar Rapids woman was arrested early Friday outside a Days Inn Hotel in Coralville after police say she and a man “agreed to a sex act in exchange for money.”

Heidi Marie Reynolds, who now faces a charge of prostitution, was caught in the back seat of a white minivan in the Days Inn parking lot, 205 2nd St., about 1:45 a.m. Friday, according to a criminal complaint.

An officer, according to the complaint, reported seeing the woman, later identified as Reynolds, on top of a man. The man allowed officers to look through text messages on his cell phone, and investigators found messages “believed to be associated with an agreement for a sex act,” the complaint states.

The man then told police they had agreed to exchange sex for money, according to police.

He was not charged in the incident, and probably won't be, because he was “very cooperative,” according to Coralville police Chief Barry Bedford.

“It’s not criminal to have sex, it’s criminal to have sex in exchange for money or something of value," Bedford said. "We are usually not present for that part of the act ... . So in order to prove the case, we need cooperation from one of the individuals.”

The man, whose name has not been released by police, is from Fort Madison and met Reynolds some time ago while she was working at Woodys Show Club in Cedar Rapids, according to Bedford.

“They have met up with each other more than once before,” he said, adding that the man drove up from Fort Madison on Thursday to meet with the woman. “They decided to rendezvous here.”

Bedford said nothing in the criminal complaint indicates that officers made a promise to let the man go without charges if he cooperated. But, Bedford said, that would not have been improper.

“That’s not illegal at all,” he said. “In fact, that’s how a lot of cases are worked.”

The goal, Bedford said, is to charge the person who officers feel is most culpable for the criminal behavior.

“I hope we made that determination here,” he said.

Bedford said Coralville has had quite a few prostitution arrests recently, and officers are keeping an eye out for that type of criminal behavior.

“I think part of that is because we have several hotels and motels that are close to the interstate,” Bedford said. “We get complaints periodically from people and motel staff about behavior that they think is suspicious.”

Reynolds remained in the Johnson County Jail on Friday afternoon, where she’ being held in lieu of a $5,000 cash-only bond.

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