BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux has apologized for a series of sting operations at a park in which his deputies used an unconstitutional anti-sodomy law to arrest men agreeing to have consensual sex with undercover agents.

Amid a firestorm of criticism, Gautreaux said Monday he would push to have the unenforceable portions of the law removed from the state's criminal statutes - an effort some lawmakers said would be an uphill battle.

The Advocate reports the apology came amid a widening controversy sparked by the arrest of at least a dozen men since 2011 booked into Parish Prison on counts of attempted crime against nature. District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said his office declined to prosecute the cases because the men had committed no criminal violations.