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Deal reached for man caught in steamy High Roller ride

A plea deal is in the works for one half of an amorous couple police say they caught having sex on the High Roller.

Philip Frank Panzica III, 27, is expected to plead guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, his lawyer, Bennair Bateman, said Wednesday during a brief court hearing. Panzica, of Houston, plans to enter a written plea in April.

“I think this was overcharged to begin with,” Bateman said. “So a misdemeanor is a fair resolution.”

Chloe Scordianos, 21, of Hicksville, N.Y., however, wants to take the felony charge of committing sex acts in public to a preliminary hearing, according to her lawyer, Chris Rasmussen.

“We believe she’s not guilty,” Rasmussen said. “There was no public sex act. We want to review the video. How do you know there’s a sex act until you’ve seen the video. We don’t just take the police’s word on what the evidence is.”

On the afternoon of Feb. 5, Scordianos’ birthday, a security officer noticed the only passengers in Cabin 16, Panzica and Scordianos, smoking and undressing.

“The guests in Cabin 17 didn’t seem to notice, but the guests in Cabin 15 not only noticed but were video recording the acts” with their cellphones, according to court documents.

The surveillance video police said caught the action on the Caesars Entertainment attraction at the Linq on the Las Vegas Strip has not been made public.

Neither Panzica nor Scordianos appeared in court Wednesday.

Linq security officers called Las Vegas police after the pair rejected two requests to end their tryst.

The 550-foot-diameter wheel with 28 cabins, each large enough to hold 40 people, didn’t stop rolling — it’s continual motion. At the end of the 30-minute ride the fully clothed tourists were pulled from the giant glass ball and taken to jail.

A criminal complaint alleges extensive nudity and sex acts on the world’s tallest observation wheel, which is billed as “The Happiest Half Hour in Vegas!”

It wasn’t the first time people have been spotted having sex in the all-glass cabins of the High Roller, which opened in 2014, the report stated. In February, police said there had been been eight reports of indecent exposure on the attraction.

“Note that not all of those are necessarily people having intercourse in public,” police spokesman Michael Rodriguez said. “They could be a myriad of incidents that fall under that same code.”

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker.

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