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Dave Olson, Published December 15 2010

Police reports reveal details in prostitution investigation

Investigative reports released by Moorhead police Tuesday reveal that three exotic dancers told investigators that Moorhead Fire Chief Joel Hewitt solicited them for sexual acts.

Also, one report draws a link between the name of a woman Hewitt is known to have dated with the name of a prostitute who has ties to a massage business in the Twin Cities.

The reports were released after a prosecutor determined there was insufficient evidence to bring prostitution-related charges against Hewitt, who was named Moorhead’s fire chief in 2004.

The reports do not spell out why Hewitt came under investigation this past summer, but they do provide the following details:

When Hewitt had a conversation with an investigator in August, Hewitt asked the detective if the investigation was about a particular woman and he provided the detective with a first and last name.

When Hewitt was told the investigation was about someone in the exotic entertainment business, Hewitt responded, “in Minneapolis or Fargo?”

When he was told it involved a woman in Fargo, Hewitt asked if it was about a specific woman and he provided the investigator with a first name.

The investigator determined through interviews that the initial name Hewitt gave the detective was the name of a prostitute related to a massage business in the Twin Cities.

The report said Hewitt was known to have dated a woman with the same name.

When police began looking into the other name Hewitt mentioned, they located a woman in Fargo who agreed to answer questions after she was assured the Clay County Attorney’s Office had agreed not to pursue charges if she answered questions truthfully.

The woman said she had worked for a number of dance agencies in the area and that she met Hewitt when he called one of them.

She said she had dinner with him a number of times and on several occasions she performed sexual acts on Hewitt and was paid for them.

The woman said the activities occurred at Hewitt’s home in south Moorhead and at her apartment in south Fargo.

She also told police she had Hewitt’s personal cell phone number.

An investigator later spoke with a Moorhead woman described in the reports as having been arrested in the past for prostitution.

Asked by a detective if she had ever met Hewitt, the woman said she didn’t know.

When the detective showed her a photo ID of Hewitt, she said she was 98 percent certain he was someone she danced for in May or June of this year.

The woman told police Hewitt would have seen her picture on Craigslist, an online advertising website.

She said that after dancing for Hewitt she performed a sexual act on him and was paid for it.

Later, an investigator interviewed a woman who said she performed a show for Hewitt at his home.

She said that during the show he asked her for sex and indicated he would pay extra, but she told him no.

Hewitt has been on paid administrative leave since August, when city officials said an internal investigation was looking into allegations of official misconduct.

Hewitt’s salary is about $86,000 a year.

Before moving to Moorhead, he was head of the St. Anthony (Minn.) Fire Department and before that he was fire chief in Maplewood, Minn.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555