Prostitution Sting in Polk County nets 96 arrests

Over 96 people were arrested for prostitution and lewdness charges among other in a Polk County Sherrifs sting this past memorial day weekend. In operation “when will you learn”, detectives in Polk county ran a prostitution sting using Backpage to post adds to lure unsuspecting people to a Comfort Inn where the police would arrest them once they knocked on the motel room door in a prearranged meeting. While Polk County Sheriff Judd was quoted in conducting this operation to prosecute traffickers in prostitution, most of the arrests seems to involve “johns” and not the traffickers they were seeking. According to the Orlando Sentinel article, most of the people arrested were men looking for adult women online for sex. By the name of the operation, you can tell this is not Sheriff’s Judd first rodeo.

In this particular operation law enforcement would place an ad in Backpage, a popular online service that publishes services for hire and various retail items for sale. The police posted ads that were suggestive of escort and prostitution activities. Men reading these adds would reach out via phone or text to allegedly set up meetings to engage in sex for money. Are these stings proper or are they a form of entrapment used to lure men who may not otherwise frequent prostitutes but for the ensuing conversations between the undercover decoy and the suspect when the initial text or phone call is made.

Prostitution and Lewdness arrests are serious and most individuals charged will need to hire a criminal attorney in Polk or Orange county to help them deal with the criminal justice system. These charges can result in defendants paying fines, court costs, and taking mandatory Aids classes and Hiv testing. In some of the charges, suspects could face a $5,000 civil penalty if they enter a plea to the charge.