Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated Shah worked as a prosecutor for the city of Carmel.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An attorney who was working for the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office was arrested on charges of paying for sex.
According to probable cause affidavit, law enforcement on July 20 was watching Room 115 at the Red Roof Inn off of Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis because of suspected prostitution activity possibly linked to sex trafficking.
They saw 25-year-old Adil Shah walk into the room through a slightly propped open door at 2:55 p.m.
Police later knocked on the door and opened it to find Shah with a shirt on backward and inside out.
A woman, who’d been read her rights, told police Shah had paid her $200 to have sex with her twice in 30 minutes.
Police handcuffed Shah when he made body movements that made it seem as if he was going to run away.
Shah, who’d also been read his rights, told police he only paid the woman to “cuddle him.”
A review of court records showed Shah prosecuted cases in Carmel City Court ranging from speeding to possession of marijuana. Since his arrest, he hasn’t prosecuted any cases.
Requests for comment from the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office had not been returned to I-Team 8’s.
In Marion County, Shah has so far avoided prosecution by doing a felony diversion program where he took an online class and did 16 hours of community service.
“Felony diversion programs are always really up to the discretion of the prosecutor,” said Jody Madeira, a law professor at Indiana University.
She told I-Team 8 that prosecutors take several factors into account when deciding to offer a diversion program.
“They look at the nature and severity of the offense. They look at any of the offender’s characteristics or difficulties, (and) whether the offender is a first-time offender,” Madeira said.
I-Team 8 asked the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office why it decided to give Shah the option for a diversion program, but the office had not yet responded by Monday afternoon.
I-Team 8 asked Madeira if the decision could be seen as preferential treatment toward Shah given that he was prosecuting cases at the time of his arrest.
“It appears likely that anyone, you know, you or I, anyone convicted or who was pleading guilty of this offense would be diverted to this sort of program.” Madeira said.
Shah got his law license in May of 2022. Madeira said this situation could lead to it being suspended, or another form of punishment. “The fact that you’ve committed that offense should be taken into consideration under what’s called character and fitness,” said Madeira, who added, “It’s up to the licensing authorities in Indiana to weigh the gravity of that conduct.”
Shah’s attorney declined to comment to I-Team 8.
I-Team 8 left a voicemail for Shah, but he had not called back by Monday.
If Shah fulfills all the requirements of diversion program, the charge would not be on his permanent record.