A Las Vegas judge was told Thursday that a clerical error put a veteran city fire captain in jail without bail on the wrong child lewdness charge following his arrest in what police called a child sex trafficking investigation.
Richard Loughry's defense attorney, Craig Hendricks, said Thursday his 46-year-old client should have been allowed to post bail following his arrest late Monday, because the girl he's accused of paying $300 for sex was 15 years old.
Loughry's initial lewdness charge was a more serious felony alleging the girl was under 14.
The girl advertised that she was 22 years old, Hendricks said, citing a police report in which the girl told investigators she met Loughry at a fire station in February for sex in a solo room with a sign reading "captains dorm."
"If it's true and he was seeking out the services of a 22-year-old prostitute, it would be a misdemeanor," Hendricks said.
Prosecutor Alexander Chen acknowledged what he called a jailhouse clerical error, but noted that Loughry also faces other charges including statutory sexual seduction, child abuse and soliciting prostitution of a minor.
The lewdness charge was updated Thursday to reflect that the victim was under 16 years old.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Cynthia Cruz set bail at $25,000 and strict house arrest pending a May 4 preliminary hearing of evidence.
The judge noted allegations that Loughry solicited the girl online, and ordered him to surrender any devices that can link to the internet.
Loughry has been a firefighter for almost 20 years. A city spokeswoman said he has been placed on unpaid leave pending resolution of the case.