U.S. President Barack Obama spent part of his Christmas vacation golfing with an old friend who has been convicted for soliciting prostitutes, according to published reports.
Robert “Bobby” Titcomb, 50, was one of four men arrested in April 2011 during an undercover prostitution sting operation. The area Titcomb was caught in is a well-known area for soliciting prostitutes in Hawaii.
Although he disagreed with details of the charges, Titcomb plead no contest a week later, saying he wanted to take responsibility. He was fined US$500 and had his case put on deferral, meaning if he stayed out of trouble for six months, the charges would disappear from his record.
Gossip website TMZ published pictures of Titcomb golfing with President Obama over the Christmas vacation on Thursday.
Titcomb’s relationship with the president goes back to when they attended Punahou High School together. President Obama was a year ahead of his friend, who did not graduate.
The two have remained close personal friends. In a 2004 interview, Titcomb said he could always see President Obama was “bound for bigger things.” The president always visits Titcomb’s home when on vacation in Hawaii, and they are frequent golfing partners.
According to the UK Daily Mail, Titcomb worked as a commercial fisherman and a Northwest Airlines flight attendant.
Titcomb’s father, Judge Frederick James Kealiimahiai Titcomb, was a well known judge in Hawaii for over 30 years, before he died in 2000 of a heart attack. He was also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and regularly appeared on TV series Hawaii Five-O.
Judge Titcomb came from a colorful line of Chinese-Hawaiian-British ancestry. His great-great-grandfather, Charles Titcomb, came to Hawaii in the mid-1800s from New England. He tried to grow silk, then coffee and finally sugar.
Last year’s prostitution bust was not the first time Titcomb has a brush with the law. He was convicted for speeding a month before the incident; in June 1987, Titcomb was arrested for driving under the influence, for crashing into an unattended vehicle and criminal contempt of court.
Titcomb pleaded to those charges in August 1989, when a judge fined him US$290 and suspended his licence for 90 days.