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Obama friend pleads no contest in prostitution case


Robert R. "Bobby" Titcomb, a close friend of President Ba­rack Obama, accused of soliciting a prostitute in Kakaako, pleaded no contest and was fined $500 yesterday. Under a court agreement the charge will be stricken from Titcomb’s record if he avoids further trouble with the law for the next six months.

The Punahou School friend and golfing buddy of Oba­ma’s did not appear in District Court and was represented by attorney William Harrison.

Harrison told District Judge Leslie Haya­shi that Titcomb was "out of town." The prosecutor’s office said Titcomb had told them that he would be on Maui.

Titcomb, 49, and three other men were arrested at South and Pohu­kaina streets at 9:40 p.m. April 4 during a police sting operation in Kakaako that targeted prostitution customers.

Titcomb was charged with prostitution and released after posting $500 bail. The misdemeanor offense carries a maximum fine of $500, community service and up to 30 days in jail.

City deputy prosecutor Kurt Naka­ma­tsu objected to Harrison’s request to waive Titcomb’s court appearance and the request for the no-contest deferral plea.

Nakamatsu said that Titcomb had previously been granted a deferral for fleeing the scene of a 1989 accident — a petty misdemeanor. "He already had a chance to keep his rec­ord clean," Naka­ma­tsu told Haya­shi, adding that Titcomb has a conviction in 1986 for criminal contempt of court.

Harrison said it has been "a very difficult time" for Titcomb because of the publicity surrounding his client’s arrest. He declined to elaborate on the specifics of the case. "He doesn’t want to put his family through any further problems," Harrison said.

"Although we’ve gotten a copy of the police report, he doesn’t totally agree with the facts of the case, he’s going to take full responsibility for his actions," Harrison said

Titcomb was assessed another $30 in court costs.

Titcomb was arrested in June 1987 for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a petty misdemeanor, and striking an unattended vehicle, a traffic violation. He also was arrested for misdemeanor criminal contempt of court and driving without a seat belt. He pleaded guilty to those charges in August 1989 and was fined $290, and his license was suspended for 90 days.

Last month, Titcomb was convicted of a speeding offense.

Titcomb, who lives in Waialua, played golf with Obama during the first family’s Christmas visit. On Dec. 30 the president and his family spent the day at Titcomb’s beachfront home in Moku­leia, where they ate barbecue, played volleyball and hung out on the beach.

In August 2008 Titcomb accompanied Obama when the future president dropped a floral tribute to his mother near Halona Blowhole, where her ashes were scattered.

Titcomb attended Punahou in the class a year behind Oba­ma’s but did not graduate from the school. Obama graduated in 1979.

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