Two substitute teachers from Tennessee elementary schools found themselves facing charges related to prostitution following a clandestine operation executed by the Chattanooga Police Narcotics and detectives. This story, originally reported by Town Hall, has garnered considerable attention due to the individuals involved and the circumstances surrounding the case.
Ezra Fry, aged 22, and David Acevedo, aged 25, were implicated in this troubling incident in August. Both individuals are actively involved in LGBTQ+ activism, a detail that adds an additional layer of complexity to the narrative. During the undercover sting operation, officers posed as potential clients, engaging with Fry through a website known to facilitate illicit prostitution services.
In a detailed account provided by the local news outlet WTVC, the police report narrates how an officer, undercover as a ‘john’, made initial contact with Fry, resulting in an arrangement for a paid encounter. Fry, outlining the terms of their service, stated the cost would be $150. Highlighting an air of caution, Fry suggested a deviation from her usual practice of visiting the client’s address, recommending instead that the officer, being a new client, should come to her residence on Orchard Knob Avenue. She justified this by mentioning the presence of her husband at the location, framing it as a safer option.
Upon the officer’s arrival at the specified address, the situation escalated rapidly. Fry reportedly led the officer to a back bedroom, accepting the money, at which point the undercover officer revealed their true identity. Subsequently, Fry and Acevedo were detained by the law enforcement agents present at the scene.
The subsequent search of the premises yielded disturbing findings, with officers uncovering a “large amount of drug paraphernalia” and a .22 caliber revolver. The police report goes on to reveal the couple’s statements during and after the search, where they both expressed a sense of desperation, claiming, “They have to do this or they will starve.”
Adding another layer of shock to the story, Fry and Acevedo disclosed their professional affiliations as Special Education teachers at Woodmore Elementary and Calvin Donaldson Elementary, respectively. During an interaction with one of the officers, Fry was reported to have made a dismissive comment, stating, “I don’t care, everyone has seen my [private parts].”
Fry identifies as non-binary, using “they/them” pronouns, as noted by the New York Post. Their Instagram bio paints a picture of their identity, describing themselves as a “Rabid Queer, Gender Anarchist, College Dropout.” Acevedo, on the other hand, keeps a lower profile with a private Instagram account, where he identifies as a “Trans, Disabled, Queer, Puerto Rican, ExEd Teacher.”
In a conversation with the Chattanooga Times earlier this year, Fry had expressed their approach to keeping their personal identity separate from their professional life, stating, “I’m a non-binary person, and I keep my gender out of my job.”
The aftermath of the sting operation saw both Fry and Acevedo receiving misdemeanor citations, encompassing charges related to unlawful drug paraphernalia, prostitution or promoting prostitution, unlawful possession of a firearm, and simple possession. This incident undeniably raises questions about the intersection of personal and professional lives, as well as the circumstances that led these individuals to engage in such activities, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on their personal and professional reputations.
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