Nine would-be johns were jailed this week and charged with patronizing a prostitute after a multi-agency sting in Fort Collins, the latest in an ongoing effort to curtail prostitution and sex trafficking in Northern Colorado.
Similar to past operations, Fort Collins police officers with the Neighborhood Enforcement Team posted advertisements in the escort sections of websites including Back and Craigslist. Interested clients responded to the and planned to meet women for sex at a Fort Collins hotel, said officer Annie Hill.
Instead of a private meet-up with a prostitute, the men, who ranged in age from 36 to 71 years old, found the hotel room empty Tuesday. They were met by Fort Collins police officers in the parking lot, arrested, booked into the Larimer County jail and formally charged with a single count of patronizing a prostitute, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Additionally, Hill said three women were cited — not arrested — for prostitution, a lower-level misdemeanor offense. Police determined they were not victims of a broader trafficking ring.
Two women were also cited for operating without an escort — escort services are legal when sex is not involved. The multi-agency operation included help from the FBI, U. Authorities have run similar operations quarterly at Fort Collins-area hotels in recent years. Hill has been actively involved in law enforcement's efforts to crack down on sex crimes and trafficking across the region for the past four years.
When she started posting the fictitious posts on sites like Back and Craigslist a couple years ago, there would be upward of responses within 24 hours. They have no other options but to keep doing it.
The Fort Collins operation was timed to coincide with Cheyenne Frontier Days, a two-week festival that draws thousands of people through Northern Colorado and into Wyoming. An operation in Cheyenne netted 15 arrests: four women accused of prostitution, eight men — several of whom are from Greeley — accused of soliciting prostitutes and one man who allegedly tried to arrange sex with a juvenile, Cheyenne police said.
Hill and other trafficking experts say Fort Collins is among several cities on a sort of prostitution circuit, due largely to its proximity to major highways like interstates 25, 70 and Additional information about the scope of human trafficking — broadly grouped as either labor trafficking or sex trafficking — in Colorado is available online at traffickingresourcecenter. Reporter Jason Pohl covers law enforcement for the Coloradoan.
Any person who performs any of the following with a person not his spouse commits patronizing a prostitute: a Engages in an act of sexual intercourse or of deviate sexual conduct with a prostitute; or b Enters or remains in a place of prostitution with intent to engage in an act of sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct. Patronizing a prostitute is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Additional fines are transferred to the state treasurer, who then transfers the money to the prostitution enforcement cash fund written into state statutes.
Source: Colorado Revised Statutes. Facebook Twitter. Jason Pohl jasonpohl coloradoan.
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