A prominent Boston attorney was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute after investigators allegedly observed him receiving oral sex in a parking garage near the South Bay Center in Dorchester, officials said.
Bruce Singal, a partner at the downtown law firm Hinckley Allen, allegedly told police he was a lawyer and repeatedly asked for leniency as he was being taken into custody, according to a police report, which Boston police provided to the Globe.
Singal did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday evening. No attorney was listed for him in court records.
The police report indicates that Singal was initially charged with attempted human trafficking for commercial sex acts, but court records show that charge was amended Thursday to a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute.
Singal was arraigned Thursday in the Roxbury division of Boston Municipal Court, where he was released on personal recognizance, according to a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office. He is due back in court May 19.
Singal, who handled public corruption and major fraud cases as an assistant US attorney and later defended the owner of a now-defunct Framingham compounding pharmacy responsible for a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak, has also contributed to the Boston Globe’s opinion section, writing in 2018 about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
Singal was arrested as part of an initiative by Boston and State Police to reduce the demand for commercial sex in the area around Massachusetts Avenue, according to the police report.
Police initially saw a female sex worker, whose age was not included in the report, walking in that area and trying to interact with passing drivers. A gray 2019 Infiniti Q70L then slowed to a stop alongside her on Peirson Street near Allerton Street, one block off Massachusetts Avenue south of Melnea Cass Boulevard, about 6:30 p.m., the report said.
The sex worker got into the front passenger seat, and the Infiniti proceeded to Massachusetts Avenue and took a right, continuing to the shopping center, and then taking a left onto Allstate Road, where the sedan drove into a busy parking garage and parked between the second and third levels, according to the report.
An investigator walked over to the Infiniti, where he could clearly see through its windows that the sex worker was leaning over toward the area of the driver’s lap and performing a sex act, the report said.
The officer knocked on the car window, gave his name, and told the driver to step out, and soon other investigators arrived and told the sex worker to exit the vehicle, according to the report.
Investigators asked the man to step away for private conversation, and he handed over his identification, which showed him to be Singal, police said.
Police told Singal they were working to reduce the demand for commercial sex, and he “stated that he understood and repeatedly asked for lenience and consideration,” explaining that he is a lawyer and that he knew the importance of the initiative, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the sex worker told investigators questioning her that Singal had picked her up and agreed to pay $40 for a sex act, and he had given her the money before she performed the act, the report said.
While officers were placing Singal under arrest, he asked to speak with a supervisor, and when he was allowed to, Singal “again asked for consideration on not being placed under arrest,” police said. The supervisor reminded him of the seriousness of the issue, the report said.
Police referred the sex worker to a social service agency that assists survivors of sex trafficking and domestic violence, and she was given a ride away from the area, according to the report.