How screwed am I? Disclosed paying for sex during a CI Poly (active military)

Good evening all,

I’ve been reading plenty of posts on here regarding clearance adjudication and having issues with guideline D. I wanted to throw my current scenario out there and potentially get some advice or insight from someone who knows a lot about this stuff… Forgive the vagueness on purpose but don’t want to throw out any identifying factors…

29 year old single male who recently checked into a command which requires a CI polygraph for work. I’m brand new to the field I’m in and my TS/SCI was granted this past April. I took a CI polygraph back in October. My examiner got into my head pretty good, she said my results were inconclusive and asked what was on my mind, and ended up disclosing that paid for sex on approximately 5 occasions from 2014 up until this year. Just 5 specific occasions. I explained how I met these girls on apps like tinder, and ultimately hung out with them for “donations”. This was in the US and I was in the military at the time still. She then got on me and explained all the issues with this, especially human trafficking and all of that and honestly, I’m not stupid, but I never really thought of those acts like that at the time. Afterwards, she said I’d most likely have to come in and retake but thanked me for my honesty. I inform my SSO/FSO, and she said that the agency who did my poly sent it up to CAF for adjudication and I have to wait. I ended up telling her about what I disclosed and she sort of even downplayed it a bit, stating they care more about honesty and we’ll figure out what’s next when the time comes.

The other day a new SSO/FSO came into the office. He is actually much higher up and is senior to the one I was originally working with. I asked him about my case, he said it was still in adjudication, and he then asked me if I disclosed anything during the poly. I told him what I disclosed and he painted a very different picture, but also much more realistic and grim.

He told me the adjudicators could clear me but it all depends on their personality. He said there is also a good chance they could flag this as disqualifying and then ask more questions, get more information, or send me the whole SOR thing. He told me to go research the Adjudicative guidelines, and write him a statement about my disclosures and what was going through my mind at the time and everything else, and he would forward that to CAF. He did say that most things can be mitigated given the right explanations, and being forthcoming.

Obviously I can’t do much until I hear back or if I get an SOR… but does anyone have experience with this? If anyone has insight or some recommendations I would greatly appreciated it. Also feel free to ask questions or message me. I typed this on a phone so forgive my shitty language/dialogue.

The second, more senior SSO with whom you spoke gave you a fair assessment of the situation.

You erred by disclosing irrelevant information during a counterintelligence-scope polygraph interrogation. According to Section 5 of the Test for Espionage and Sabotage administration guide:

…Interviews of examinees during any phase of a polygraph examination will not probe any of the following areas unless these issues are revealed by the examinee as having relevance to responses or admissions made in connection with counterintelligence questions posed during the examination:

5.1.1. Religious beliefs or affiliations
5.1.2. Beliefs and opinions regarding racial matters
5.1.3. Political beliefs and affiliations
5.1.4. Opinions regarding the constitutionality of legislative policy
5.1.5 Use of drugs or alcohol (except for the purposes of assessing suitability)
5.1.6 Affiliations with labor unions
5.1.7 Sexual matters
5.1.8 Finances

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Thanks for your input! Yes after talking with a couple other people, I definitely shot myself in the foot there…

Do you have any recommendations on what I could do now to work on mitigating this? Again I haven’t gotten an SOR and he didn’t even bring that up until I asked about it. He made it sound like they most likely want more info before even getting to that point.

I did send in a request today to receive a copy of my investigation though, not sure how long that takes.

Should I be looking at talking to an attorney or looking into sexual addiction counseling (not that I have that problem) but whatever looks good for mitigation? Or wait until it gets to that point?

I know little about how any such security concerns that resulted in an SOR have been successfully mitigated. However, at this stage, you might begin by browsing the DOHA Industrial page for any possible comparable situations.

Gotcha. Are you saying you aren’t sure how often one successfully mitigates prostitution? Or that you just don’t have much knowledge on someone getting an SOR for that in general?

Yes I have looked as some of these cases but will continue to look more. Sadly most of them are way more serious offenses (child porn, sexual assault) combined with other things. The prostitution ones seem kind of tricky… depending on if the individual was married/hid it/ for how long they were actively doing this activity. Everything seems like a gray area

Yes to both questions.

I understand. Thanks for your timely response. One more thing… I know I probably shouldn’t keep thinking of “what if” scenarios until I get the results of the case… but would you say it’s “possible” that I may not even get an SOR and get cleared, maybe with signing something stating I won’t do that again?

I did disclose how I told friends and family about the issues, and that I cannot be blackmailed or coerced by these acts, in addition to never doing it again. Also offered for any job training or treatment if deemed necessary, in my statement to the SSO. Aren’t those some what of mitigating factors right there? Minus the time of course.

While “sexual matters” are not supposed to be areas of investigation for these polygraph sessions, your issue is on the border between “sexual” and “criminal”. You were advised to look at the adjudicative guidelines and see what mitigating factors might apply in your case. Did you do this?

Recency is also an issue. Five times between 2012 and THE CURRENT YEAR isn’t very often but indicates that the last time was in 2019. This prevents time from being a mitigating factor. Even a written “promise” to not do it again isn’t going to carry much weight.

So . . . Are you married? Were you married during any of the past occurrences. You were in the military? Did you have a clearance at the time? Are your actions a violation of the code of conduct?

If you get an SOR, I would strongly recommend the aid of a clearance lawyer. There’s not much point of doing so at this time. You don’t have much choice but to ride it out at this point. But, you can prepare for the different possibilities by researching the issue and preparing for a defense if one is needed.

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Thanks for your input. Yes I did and the SSO told me to look at criminal and sexual as well just as you said. While obviously time is not a mitigating factor with the most recent time being in 2019; according to the guidelines I cannot be coerced or blackmailed because of disclosure and making it known, the acts were private not in public/ discreet/and consensual, and (not that I’ve done this yet but would be totally willing to do) would be willing to do workplace training or treatment for this issue, be evaluated by a mental health professional etc.

I was in the military yes at the time, and yes with a clearance (but secret) these times were before I got my TS and getting into the IC. I was single during all of these occurances and have never been married .

Talked with SSO again today and they basically said they’re waiting for all or any input from CAF and due to the holidays it may take a while. They also said each individual case is different and depends on the whole person analysis. They said just because I admitted to something illegal does not automatically mean I will receive an SOR right off the bat and lose my clearance.

I did request a copy of my investigations, so waiting on those. IF this ended up getting to the point of an SOR I would definitely hire an attorney. Do you have any idea on how much attorneys cost for things like this? I would definitely do it… but I’m a mid level enlisted person and am not exactly made of money…

Wishful thinking… is it totally “possible “ in my situation to get cleared without an SOR depending on how CAF views my case?

Thanks again Ed, I hope I’m not being annoying with these posts. All of this stuff is new to me and I’m trying to be proactive in the waiting time…

The fact that you were active military and held a secret clearance does hurt your case. You should have known better, certainly by 2019.

Blackmail is far from the only issue here. Your willingness to break the rules is, to me, bigger issue. The concern should be: Where do you draw the line? What other rules will you be willing to break? These are the issues that you have to mitigate.

Of course it’s possible that you may not receive an SOR or LOI. I wouldn’t count on it though.

Lawyers are expensive. But, you can minimize the hours that they bill by doing your research and participating in your defense as much as possible.

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Yes I understand I should have known better, thank you for your straight to the point analysis on my issue.

Those issues about breaking the rules and how far I’m willing to go… are you saying I need to look into myself and figure out where I do draw the line and what I’m willing to break? I agree. To be honest I’ve had a pretty clean record with no situations of breaking the rules or law besides this. But you are totally right.

On a side note… all of these occurances were through meeting girls off dating apps such as tinder and okcupid who wanted to “hang out” for donations. While it was still sex for money, I think it points more towards my issues with dating apps… I spoke with an attorney for a free consult and he suggested to get myself into some counseling or therapy BEFORE anything adverse happens or an SOR is submitted. I realized I messed up big time but I really do want to work through this and fix myself if possible.

No . . . I think that you missed the point . . . It’s not a matter of you looking at yourself to see where you will draw the line. My point is that your investigator and adjudicator are going to be looking at that. If you break one rule, is that an indication that you will break another?

Yes . . . apps, Tinder, OKCupid and websites like AdultFriendFinder and, of course, Craigslist, have been a harbor for prostitution all along. You have to be careful. Their use, in general, shouldn’t be considered an issue for a single male (or female) but the situations that you put yourself in were foreseeable and could have been avoided. There’s not a problem with dating apps. It’s one of the ways that people meet these days. The current environment has made it difficult to date at work or at school. It’s harder and harder to meet someone in a bar or club. These apps provide a valuable service but they are abused by prostitutes both professional and those who just want to make a few bucks by hooking up. These are people that you shouldn’t be hanging around with if you wish to continue to do cleared work.

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Hey man I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been browsing this forum along with others to help get some clarity, which is strikingly similar to yours. I saw in another forum you hadn’t heard anything for months, just wondering if you had any updates to your situation?

Thank you.