The State Police have made their first arrests with the new prostitution law in RI. 14 men and women have been arrested. From Projo:
The state police say they have arrested six women and eight men under the state’s new prostitution law, which bans indoor solicitation.
The arrests come from several undercover operations in the last two months. In some cases, detectives posed as customers who agreed to meet women in hotels in Providence and Warwick to engage in sex for money.
In at least two other undercover operations, a state police detective posed as a prostitute and attracted eight men to “hotels in the Johnston area.”
During the investigations, the detectives answered or placed advertisements on the adult section of Craigs List or in various newspapers to set up their rendezvous.
It will be interesting to see what will come of these cases. I think it is a first for RI to actually arrest Johns. When the State House was taking testimony it was discovered that there was over 300 women arrested, and not one John or Pimp was in prison. One thing that I wonder about, but I know will probably not going to have a bearing on these arrests is the section of the law about the landlords. The law stated that is would punish landlords, they could face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 fines. I suppose that a hotel would be considered a landlord. Besides the landlord point, I think that most of this would be considered entrapment, but most of the people will probably plea out before it goes that far.
I have to agree with most of the posters on the Projo story that this is a waste of money. Providence’s violent crime rate has gone up 19.5% in 2008, and the 2 murders in a drive by shooting last weekend put the murder rate at almost twice what is was last year. I would really like to see the police go after real criminals, but they probably have to show that they are doing something with the new law. The police are holding a press conference later today, so you can see that these arrests are driven by the media. I never knew of police holding press conferences when they arrest someone for a misdemeanor crime.
Hopefully this will be the last arrests for a while.