A former Mamaroneck police officer who had sued the town claiming racial discrimination was accused of running a prostitution operation out of a massage parlor in Ulster County. Peter Persaud, 42, was arrested last week by Marlborough police and charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree, a felony. The Fishkill man is accused of operating a business called Body and Soul, which advertised "body work" but instead charged $175 for half hour with a prostitute, police said. The business is in a commercial suite at the Village Square Mall in Marlboro. It advertised its services on Internet sites like Craigslist, MySpace and the classified section of area newspapers. The Internet sites included photographs of women that were allegedly available. Persaud is also expected to face a felony charge of unlicensed massage therapy, police said.
In 1998 Persaud sued the Mamaroneck Police Department claiming officials there had denied him assignments and promotions in favor of white officers and subjected him to derogatory treatment. Persaud is of Indian origin; his family came from Guyana. The town brought departmental charges against him claiming he was sleeping while on duty behind a school building while his gun was lying on the seat in plain sight. At the time, Persaud said the departmental charges were in retaliation for his lawsuit. He was fired in 1999, but the town later reached a settlement with him and two other officers who had joined with him in filing the lawsuit. The settlement was sealed and details were never released. He served four years on the police department. After his arrest June 12, Persaud was remanded to Ulster County jail. Police investigating the case also arrested a 22-year-old Yonkers woman and charged her with prostitution. They are not releasing her identity, saying the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.