Republican donor John Childs donated $330,000 since prostitution sting


John Childs attends Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation Annual Gala at 3 West Club on December 14, 2016 in New York City.

Sylvain Gaboury | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

Republican megadonor and private equity investor John W. Childs has continued giving GOP fundraising committees large sums of money since he was charged in February with soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Florida.

Over the course of the past five months, Childs has donated over $330,000 to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, including two separate contributions of almost $50,000 in July to each group, Federal Election Commission records show.

The two committees did not respond when asked if they plan to either return the money or give it to a charity. At least two Republican senators, including Martha McSally of Arizona and Mike Braun of Indiana, have donated the contributions they received from Childs.

Childs’ continued involvement in GOP fundraising campaigns comes as Democratic committees won’t commit to giving away donations given to them by Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with child sex trafficking before he committed suicide.

Since he was charged, Childs has retained counsel and has said in interviews that he never solicited prostitutes. He retired from the private equity firm he co-founded, J.W. Childs Associates, soon after police charged him with a crime. He did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Vero Beach Police Department:

Childs was one of more than 170 people charged in the Sunshine State as part of a six-month undercover investigation that led to other high-profile names being caught up in the probe.

Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner and loyal supporter of President Donald Trump, was charged with the same crime in the sting operation. Kraft has since pleaded not guilty and won a major victory in court when a judge denied prosecutors permission to use video evidence to make their case against him. Former Citigroup President John Havens was charged in the aftermath of the sting.

Childs is the latest wealthy GOP donor to have kept a foothold in the party despite being accused of wrongdoing.

Former RNC Finance Chairman Steve Wynn was accused of sexual harassment while he led Wynn Resorts casinos. In April, the RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign fundraising arm for Republicans in the Senate, accepted nearly $400,000 from Wynn.

The RNC’s argument for agreeing to take in the funds is that Wynn has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.


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