Search warrants released Tuesday offer new details of Waco police Officer Willy Lopez’s arrest on a prostitution charge last week and include an allegation that he had previously recorded a woman investigators know to be a prostitute having sex with him.
McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Lopez, a member of the Waco Police Department Street Crimes Unit, on Jan. 15 on a Class B misdemeanor charge of prostitution. Lopez had arranged to meet a sheriff’s investigator who was posing as a prostitute in an online ad, according to the warrant.
Lopez started communicating with the undercover investigators Jan. 12 and initially agreed to meet the woman at a motel and pay $60 in exchange for sex, the warrant states. Lopez canceled the initial meeting but continued communicating with undercover officers over the next few days.
The warrant states Lopez became suspicious, asked if the woman was a law enforcement officer and requested that they meet at a restaurant. Lopez was arrested at the restaurant last week.
Officers confiscated the personal cellphone deputies believe Lopez was using to communicate with the undercover officer.
“Upon making contact, his cellphone was sitting in his lap, with the screen open,” the warrant states. “His phone was removed from his lap and secured as he was being detained. I did note that there was an open text app called ‘Burner’ that did have my communication with him active.”
After obtaining a search warrant for the phone, investigators found a video of Lopez allegedly having sex with a prostitute in his Waco home. Information about the video was included to support a search warrant for Lopez’s home.
“Upon searching the phone, I was able to locate (a) video in which Lopez is seen setting up his cellphone camera on some sort of surface in a room,” the investigator wrote in the warrant.
The warrant offers a description of the room, including details of the color and designs of the bedding.
“Within minutes, a female, known to me to be a prostitute, enters the room and begins to talk to Lopez about the room. … The two individuals then begin to have sexual intercourse on camera,” according to the warrant.
The warrant does not state when the video was recorded or whether the woman was aware of the recording.
Lopez was off duty at the time of his arrest, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said last week. Lopez was released from McLennan County Jail after posting a $1,000 bond on the night of his arrest.
Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt said Lopez was placed on administrative leave the day after his arrest. At least two public information requests regarding Lopez’s employment status and history, respectively, submitted by the Tribune-Herald late last week have not been returned.