President Obama's close friend pleads no contest in prostitution case

Robert "Bobby" Titcomb
Robert "Bobby" Titcomb

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of President Obama's closest friends from childhood has decided not to fight the prostitution charge against him.

The attorney for Robert "Bobby" Titcomb entered a plea of no contest at his arraignment at Honolulu District Court Monday. The defendant's presence was waived because he reportedly is on Maui.

"His private life has been turned upside down by this matter," William Harrison, defense attorney, said. "He doesn't want to put his family through any further problems."

Police say Titcomb showed up April 4th at a Downtown Honolulu intersection to meet an escort from an online service, and offered to pay $100 for sex. It was actually an undercover prostitution sting that also netted three other alleged Johns.

"Although we've gotten a copy of the police report, he doesn't totally agree with the facts of the case, he's going to take full responsibility for his actions," Harrison said.

Titcomb is often seen at the President's side when the Obama family vacations in Hawaii. The two attended Punahou School together.

The defense requested a deferral, which is an opportunity for Titcomb to keep the prostitution conviction off his criminal record.

But prosecutors objected, saying he already received a deferral in 1989 for fleeing the scene of an accident, and also has a 1986 conviction for criminal contempt of court.

"The defendant has had his chance to keep his record clean," Kurt Nakamatsu, deputy prosecutor, said. "He chose to engage in criminal conduct in this instance."

District Judge Leslie Hayashi granted the deferral. Titcomb must stay out of trouble for the next six months, and pay $530 in fines and court fees.

A hearing to evaluate his compliance is set for October 19th.

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