Doctor tied to SD prostitution ring pleads guilty

Published 7:03 am Thursday, November 11, 2010

TEA, S.D.— The only person formally accused of paying for sex in what authorities say was a Tea-based Internet prostitution ring has pleaded guilty.

KELO television station reports that Sioux Falls doctor Joshua Payer pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Prosecutors dropped the other charges Payer had faced as part of a deal.

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The drug count stems from prescriptions for Oxycontin that authorities say Payer wrote for the man alleged to have operated the ring.

Payer voluntarily surrendered his medical license in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa in September.

Payer has been confined to house arrest since September. He will be sentenced in February.