DA: Johns snared in online hooker sting

Computer-literate Boston cops have a new tool for cracking down on prostitution: Bogus ads placed on Web sites that advertise that sort of thing.

Some 18 men from both Boston and the burbs have been arraigned over the past couple of weeks after they showed up at arranged meeting places - where they were met by cops, not actual ladies of the evening - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

"They gave the cops their phone numbers and clothing descriptions, so when cops saw them, the cops called their phones and then made the arrests," a spokesman said, declining to name the specific Web site used to arrange what turned out to be unconsummated trysts.

Among the arrested: A BC student who thought he was smart in bargaining down the cost of his assignation from $200 or so to just $45, the DA's office reports. Other defendants are charged with trying to pay for their interludes with drugs.

Since 2006, Boston Police and the DA's office have concentrated on going after johns rather than prostitutes in an attempt to curb the crime by lowering demand. And all other things being equal, prosecutors will seek greater punishment for the would-be clients than the alleged prostitutes - especially when it comes to minors:

In a landmark 2006 policy shift, [DA Dan] Conley voluntarily adopted a “safe harbor” policy for prostituted youth, treating them as victims of
exploitation rather than offenders; that voluntary policy was later
expanded statewide in Massachusetts’ 2011 human trafficking legislation,
to which Conley and Attorney General Martha Coakley contributed key
language.

Neighborhoods: 

    Topics: 

      Free tagging: 

        Comments

        Human trafficking?!? What a

        By on

        Human trafficking?!? What a puritanical crock of shit. Consenting adult + consenting adult + $ in a restaurant for food = great, consenting adult + consenting adult + consenting adult + $ in a private area bothering no one = name plastered all over the news. Grow the fuck up.

        up
        26

        It is an issue, alive and well.

        I'm with you on two consenting adults. If both people are truly free and consenting, then let them do what they will.

        I'm also on the side of law enforcement when it involves victims. Not all women and men go into this willingly. Some do, and make enough money to do things they want to do. Others are underage and foreign people forced into the sex trade. These victims I'd like to see helped and given options out of their forced positions.

        up
        39

        Not exactly

        While I agree 100% that prostitution between consenting adults ought to be legal, the reality is that a 16 year old runaway picked up off the street and put to work by an experienced pimp who watches her 24x7 and beats the crap out of her if she tries to quit is not exactly a "consenting adult."

        up
        33

        not a victimless crime

        Prostitution is not a victimless crime. A lot of prostitutes are coerced into it. Others are involved due to a drug habit and would love to get out of the prostitution if they could only get a grip on their lives.

        The notion of a "victimless" crime is a crock. The hypocrisy is those who overlook how it abuses women and children.

        And BTW, some of the liberal countries in Europe are rolling back legalization of prostitution.

        up
        17

        It CAN be a victimless crime

        By on

        If it were regulated (and taxed), then there would be a lot fewer instances of coercion and abuse of underage women. With regards to those who have drug habits to support, do you think eliminating prostitution would eliminate their problem, or would they turn to other activities to fund their habit (robbery)?

        Entrapment means enticing

        Entrapment means enticing someone to commit a crime they wouldn't have committed otherwise. These guys proactively answered the ads, so they were ipso facto looking to commit a crime, unless you want to argue that the thought never crossed their mind until they saw the ads, and that the bogus ads were the only ones they saw. Even then, though, I'm not really sure "entrapment" even exists anymore, given the number of convictions that the FBI has secured by enticing fucked-up kids to build bombs, etc.

        up
        20

        "...argue that the thought

        By on

        "...argue that the thought never crossed their mind until they saw the ads, and that the bogus ads were the only ones they saw"- The rich John who can afford the right lawyer will probably get off with that argument.

        up
        11

        Glad to see BPD focusing on the important things

        By on

        not like the burgeoning murder rate, or the street crime and noise that make some parts of the city hard to live in.

        When the Japanese and French consulates give their seal of approval to all of Boston, then we can worry about what people are doing for money behind closed doors.

        up
        16

        That is a ridiculous statement

        By on

        There are 17,000 trafficked people in massachusetts living in fear and most of them are forced to have sex for money.

        This is real crime.

        up
        14

        Hmm

        By on

        Can you cite where you got that 17k number from?

        up
        24