John Childs, the buyout veteran who co-founded J.W. Childs Associates, retired just days after being charged with soliciting prostitution.

Childs, who started the private-equity firm in 1995, stepped down as chairman, Boston-based J.W. Childs said in a statement. The firm has invested about $3.7 billion of equity capital in more than 50 businesses, according to its website.

Childs, 77, isn’t currently active in the management of the firm, according to the statement. The firm will continue to be led by Adam Suttin, managing partner, and partners David Fiorentino, Jeff Teschke and Bill Watts.

Childs was one of 165 people charged by the Vero Beach Police Department in Florida as part of a multijurisdiction criminal investigation into massage parlors in Florida. A probe by the Jupiter Police Department ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who could face as long as a year in jail, and former Citigroup Inc. executive John Havens.

Childs couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. But in a telephone interview on Friday, he said he was innocent and hadn’t been contacted by the police department about the charge. “The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false,” he said. “I have retained a lawyer.”

Childs has owned a home in Vero Beach for more than a decade, according to public records.