Lilly Pulitzer Executive Arrested in Backpage.com Prostitution Sting
This post has been updated with a statement from Lilly Pulitzer.
Keary McNew is the vice president and chief information officer for women’s clothing company Lilly Pulitzer, and a man whose name has turned up in publications like the Wall Street Journal. But on Wednesday, the 40-year-old Plymouth Meeting resident’s name appeared in a much different place: an announcement by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
D.A. Kevin Steele announced McNew’s arrest as part of an undercover sting operation to combat human trafficking and the commercial sex trade. According to court documents, the sting and subsequent arrest went like this:
Montgomery County detectives placed an ad in the “Escorts” section of Backpage.com, a website that has come under fire for promoting prostitution. The ad contained three photos of a woman in various states of undress and stated that she was 25 years old.
“Hey are you looking for a great time?” read the ad. “I am not a high volume provider but I am great at what I do and your erotic satisfaction is my top priority. I am very professional classy and discreet. If you got the money I got the honey!!! No endless texts or time wasters. Let’s have fun!!!”
On Tuesday, McNew allegedly called the number in the ad from his cell phone and spoke with a woman. What he didn’t know was that the woman was not a prostitute but a Upper Merion detective.
McNew then discussed services and prices with the woman and agreed to meet her at a King of Prussia hotel for a one-hour, $200 session. Prosecutors say that he showed up on Tuesday night and handed the woman inside a $200 Visa gift card.
Police say that the detective asked McNew, “You don’t want anything kinky? You just want normal sex, right?”
When McNew replied “Yes,” he was placed under arrest. Detectives say that McNew later provided a written statement admitting to the crime.
He has been charged with patronizing prostitutes, a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
On Wednesday afternoon, McNew told Philly Mag that he expected that his arrest would affect his position with Lilly Pulitzer. Indeed it did. As of Wednesday night, he was no longer employed there.
A Lilly Pulitzer spokesperson sent the following statement to Philly Mag:
We are shocked and saddened by the news involving alleged criminal activity by a former Lilly Pulitzer employee. Given that this is an ongoing police investigation and does not involve our company in any way, we are unable to provide any additional information but can confirm that this person is no longer employed at Lilly Pulitzer.
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