You accidentally engaged in prostitution through “donations” to women you met through dating apps and disclosed the events at your polygraph exam. How screwed are you?

A ClearanceJobsBlog visitor recently asked:

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 I ended up disclosing that I 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 U.S., 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 must wait. I ended up telling her about what I disclosed, and she sort of 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 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 appreciate it.

Adjudicative Guideline D: Sexual Behavior

Sexual behavior alone is rarely used for a revocation. Usually, it is accompanied by criminal behavior when it is listed in a Statement of Reasons (SOR). Mitigating sexual/criminal behaviors can be done, but time is not on the applicant’s side. Unfortunately, having engaged in the “hanging out for donations” (really, it was sex for money) up until the current year doesn’t allow for the most successful mitigating factor – passage of time between an incident and favorable adjudication.

The concern here from an adjudicator’s standpoint is where does this clearance holder draw the line? What other rules might he be willing to break?

Since time is a no go for mitigation, counseling, deleting the apps and no longer engaging in these activities is all he can do as he waits for documentation from the CAF.

One commenter on the ClearanceJobsBlog notes “you might begin by browsing the DOHA Industrial page for any possible comparable situations.”

Not a bad idea for anyone worried about their security clearance being revoked and looking for mitigation techniques.


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸