Recent Prostitution Sting Nabs 91 in central Florida
After users responded to ads on a website that allegedly connected prostitutes with johns, almost 100 people were arrested, including a 21-year-old man on his honeymoon in Orlando who left his wife at the plush resort. Authorities are conducting a further criminal probe into the website to determine the nature of their business. A sheriff’s officer reported that the parties connected through the website between May 8 and 14. However, the website says that no one may use their services to engage in illegal activity.
An undercover officer placed an ad for prostitution on the site, and the wayward honeymooner responded. His wife called the authorities to say that he was missing when he didn’t come back to the resort.
Ninety-two people were taken into custody for committing prostitution or solicitation of prostitution. The men and women included 12 “pimps,” 39 alleged prostitutes and 39 suspected “johns.” The pimps brought the prostitutes to the location while the johns sought out sex with the prostitutes. Two people were taken into custody for other charges.
One of the alleged johns was from California and worked at a church as a youth pastor for six years. He was attending a church-related conference when he responded to an ad for sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Authorities noted that the arrest of the 45-year-old man was critical to the investigation as teens in California may have been at risk. They added that other victims could be out there and that local police in that jurisdiction will be able to investigate further.
The sheriff’s officer further observed that prostitution connects to a number of other crimes, such as drug activity, violence against women and human trafficking. He added that the criminal problems are significant, so law enforcement plans to continue to arrest those involved in these types of crimes.
Charges for the criminal activity include a number of sexual offenses, such as lewdness, aiding and abetting prostitution and earning money from prostitution. Other charges include escape, resisting arrest, possession of drugs, traffic infractions, and battery against a police officer.