A longtime Houston police officer arrested in an extensive prostitution sting in October has been identified.
Robert Teweleit, 54, was arrested Oct. 4 during a 10-day sting at a massage parlor turned brothel that was taken over in early October by Houston Police Department, spokesman John Cannon exclusively told Chron.com Friday afternoon. He was charged with misdemeanor prostitution, according to Harris County District Court documents.
Teweleit's name and mugshot were initially withheld by police following the sting, which netted 138 other people. Those names and mugshots were immediately released. Teweleit was not identified because he was an undercover officer, Cannon added. Teweleit was last assigned to the auto theft division. He was sworn into the department September 1986.
Almost 140 men, including a Houston police officer, were arrested during a 10-day sting at former massage parlor turned brothel that was taken over earlier this month by the Houston Police Department, officials announced Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.
Cannon told Chron.com that they were comfortable releasing Teweleit's name, information, and mugshot Friday because enough time had passed since his arrest. Teweleit was initially suspended with pay until he retired from HPD on Nov. 1
Teweleit retained the legal services of Paul Gene Aman, who was unavailable for comment Friday. Aman's legal administrator, David Donahue, told Chron.com Friday afternoon that he worried of his client's identity being made public considering his undercover position in the department.
Teweleit is due back in court Dec. 11.
Once known as the "7 Star Spa" at 11316 Westheimer, the massage parlor with seven private rooms, two stand-up shower rooms and a kitchen/laundry room had a sordid history of prostitution busts before it was closed in 2016, police officials said during a news conference Oct. 26.
HPD's vice division reopened the spa in early October as "8 Star Spa," and officers disguised themselves as employees to make arrests. Most of the men were arrested at the brothel after money changed hands, and they were then booked into jail.
During a news conference Oct. 26, HPD Chief Art Acevedo said the undercover police officers charged an average rate of $60 as a door fee and $120 for sex acts.
"These 139 individuals are part of the reason the sex trade is alive here in Houston," Acevedo said during the conference. "These men should be ashamed."
Because Teweleit was arrested while off duty, the Houston Police Officers Union is not representing him, second vice president Joe Gamaldi told Chron.com. Teweleit's arrest and charge does not affect his pension, Gamaldi added.
"If the allegations are true, it is conduct unbecoming of a Houston police officer," Gamaldi said.