ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A seedy, soggy motel that was the site of one of Atlantic City's most memorable political sex scandals will be torn down.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has agreed to help fund demolition of the Bayview Motel. The agency's contribution and the total cost of demolition, which was announced by the mayor's office, were not immediately available.
The motel was the scene of a 2006 sex sting orchestrated by a city council president who already was on his way to prison for a different crime, and who wanted to settle a score with a council rival.
Craig Callaway lured Councilman Eugene Robinson — a Baptist minister — to the motel. A message left for Callaway was not immediately returned, and Robinson died not long after the trial.
Last summer, a 3-foot-long alligator was found in the motel's swimming pool during a drug raid.
Callaway rented rooms 101 and 102 at the Bayview, a nondescript lodging surrounded by marshland and construction cranes — just the kind of out-of-the-way place where people can go without drawing attention to themselves.
According to an FBI agent's court testimony, a friend and co-defendant of Callaway placed a camera hidden in a clock radio inside one of the rooms. The camera sent a video stream to a recorder in the adjacent room.
The agent said Callaway paid a prostitute between $150 and $200 to lure Robinson to the motel and perform a sex act on him.
Callaway edited the video on his home computer, and then yanked out the hard drive and threw it into the ocean, the agent said. A third councilman arranged for a computer expert to help edit the video and blur the woman's face; charges against him were later dropped.
Callaway served his three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit invasion of privacy at the same time he served a 40-month federal prison term in a bribery case.
The council president and others confronted Robinson with the tape and demanded that he resign, or else the tape would be sent to the media. But Robinson refused, and contacted authorities.
A copy of the tape was delivered to a radio talk show host by someone wearing oversized glasses, a fake beard and surgical gloves.
Robinson maintained the sex was consensual, and that the money he gave the woman was to buy sodas.
During the trial, he testified he initially resisted the young woman who had approached him outside a convenience store and asked for a ride back to her motel.
"At first I kept saying, 'No, no, no,'" Robinson testified. "But then I thought, 'If you send a tourist away angry, they'll tell people not to come to Atlantic City.'"