In the spring of 2021, a man in his 30s called the police to report that he’d been robbed.
He told the officer he’d lost about $600 in cash and an iPhone that belonged to a man named Paul.
Paul, the police report stated, “was known to the victim for drug use and has been known to steal his credit cards and cash from the victim.”
Paul was a licensed commercial escort.
He’d worked at Grand Rapids escorts for the past decade.
His car was listed in a police database as stolen.
A week later, police raided Paul’s home, seizing $800 in cash, an iPhone, and a pair of Rolex watches.
Paul told the police he’d given them the money to buy heroin.
The police didn’t find drugs or a crime scene, but they did find an iPhone with the stolen credit cards, which was later returned to him.
The theft led police to suspect that the money had been stolen from Paul, who told the officers that he didn’t know who did it.
In June 2021, Paul was charged with a felony for allegedly stealing the credit cards.
Paul pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution.
He was released on parole in October 2021.
Two years later, the man who had robbed him came back to the apartment where he’d first reported the theft.
He said he’d heard about the robbery from someone at Grand River Escorts, and the man said Paul had helped him.
But he had no idea that Paul had been the one who’d robbed him.
“He was really nice,” the man told police, but he was confused.
When he later went to speak with Paul, he discovered that Paul hadn’t been in touch with him in three years.
He wasn’t the same person he’d seen in the surveillance footage, and he didn-t recognize Paul.
“I just thought he was crazy,” the person told police.
The next day, a friend of the suspect called police.
“If you had seen this guy, you’d think he was insane,” the friend told officers.
Police were still searching for Paul.
In August, police arrested the man after he allegedly admitted to police that he and Paul had stolen a Jeep Cherokee.
But police had trouble finding the owner, who was still at large.
Officers searched the area, and they believed that Paul might have been involved.
Paul and his attorney said they were still working on finding him.
In November 2021, the Escorts’ owners contacted the Grand Rapids Police Department and told officers about the missing money.
After a detective asked Paul to sign an affidavit, Paul refused.
He refused to cooperate with investigators, saying that they had an obligation to find him, according to court documents.
Paul was then charged with three counts of first-degree larceny.
Prosecutors argued that Paul was an accessory to the crime, and on January 23, 2019, Paul pleaded no contest to one count of first degree larcenies.
In April, Paul’s conviction was vacated and he was sentenced in 2018 to five years probation and 10 months of supervised release.
In October 2019, the city of Grand Rapids and the Escort Services Association reached an agreement that allowed the city to rehire Paul as a private escort.
The Escorts Association said that Paul’s arrest had “changed the course of history” and had saved hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Paul’s lawyer, Matthew Dutton, told the Register that the agreement had been made for “good reason” and that the city had no intention of bringing the man back to work.
“They are not going to put a guy who is just trying to earn a living, who has no prior record, who is a felon, who’s got a violent past behind bars,” Dutton said.
“It’s a huge win for the Escors.”
In October 2021, after his arrest, Paul moved to Detroit.
He still worked as an escort, but now his job consisted of delivering packages to Detroiters who live in Grand Rapids.
He also offered to deliver packages to clients in the city.
In 2017, he was convicted of one count each of third-degree robbery, second-degree criminal impersonation, and first-level felony larcency.
Paul served eight months in prison.
He served his sentence at the Wayne County Correctional Facility in Wayne, Michigan, before being transferred to the Grand Valley State Prison in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 2019.
The following year, he and his wife moved to New York City.
They have two sons, and Paul has two grandchildren.