DES MOINES - The chief executive officer of a Fort Dodge-based construction company has been charged in connection with a prostitution sting in Polk County.
William L. Woodruff, 48, of Ames, the CEO of Woodruff Construction, has been charged with prostitution. He's accused of soliciting to pay for a sex act on Oct. 17 in Johnston, according to the criminal complaint filed with the Polk County attorney's office.
The Iowa Code defines prostitution as "a person who sells or offers for sale the person's services as a partner in a sex act, or who purchases or offers to purchase such services."
Woodruff was released on bail on Oct. 18. Online court records indicate he pleaded not guilty on Oct. 19.
His preliminary hearing was scheduled for this morning, but was waived by his attorney, S. Luke Craven, on Tuesday.
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said Woodruff was among 48 who were arrested in a prostitution investigation from the middle of October.
"We're not only rooting out criminal activity, but also looking to see if there's any human trafficking going on," he said.
Sarcone, who couldn't comment on the specifics of the investigation, said most suspects were charged with prostitution, but others were facing drug charges.
The names of those charged weren't released until earlier this week. Sarcone declined to reveal why investigators waited two weeks to reveal the names of the defendants.
"There are very good reasons for it," he said.
Sarcone said the investigation was handled by various law enforcement agencies, including the Polk County sheriff's office and Mid Iowa Narcotics Enforcement.
Woodruff Construction company was founded in 1956 in Fort Dodge as Woodruff-Evans Construction. The company has offices in Fort Dodge, Ames and Iowa City.