LEXINGTON PARK, MD. St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron reports that on August 24, 2013, Deputy Austin Schultz responded to a report of a female exposing herself to traffic on Maryland Route 246 (Great Mills Road) in Lexington Park. Upon arrival, Deputy Schultz observed Sheila Vernon, 44, of Lexington Park walking in the parking lot of a local business along Great Mills Road.
When the officer made contact with Vernon, she had entered the passenger seat of a vehicle. Upon further investigation, Deputy Shultz determined Vernon had solicited the vehicle operator.
Vernon was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure (1 3605) and Soliciting for Prostitution (1 1093). Vernon was released to the custody of the St. Mary’s County Detention Center pending an appearance before the District Court Commissioner.
This photo was sent by a reader for publication the day after it was taken by one of those present at the St. Inigoes boat launching ramp, which is a St. Mary’s County facility with signs posted banning alcohol use. The reader included a note that nearly all of those in the photo had criminal records at the time and some added to their resumes in the years following this 2009 incident. Governor O’Malley had been at a event at Historic St. Mary’s City and arranged for the Maryland Natural Resources Police to take him down the St. Mary’s River so he could view one of the properties the State purchased from the Jesuits to preserve from development.
On their voyage down the river, O’Malley directed the police boat to pull up to the ramp so he could meet local citizens. The group invited the Governor to pose for photos with them and he agreed, standing immediately behind the woman in the red shirt who both prior to and after this photo had been picked up on prostitution and other charges. One of the group was later charged with armed home invasion, another causing a serious DWI crash with injuries.
There were no local police with the Governor. Had there been, any deputy or state trooper from the area would have first, prevented the Governor from posing with this nest of criminals and second, issued citations for possession of open containers of alcohol in a park.
The State Troopers and NRP officers with the Governor didn’t issue any citations as either they didn’t know the law, couldn’t read the signs or simply didn’t want to take away from the joyous campaign moment of O’Malley.