Criminal Justice

DA's 'Flush the Johns' sting puts lawyers, doctors and others on photo display

It’s commonplace for women and men who work as prostitutes to be criminally charged while those who pay them for sex are treated as witnesses.

But it’s time to change that approach to the problem, a suburban New York district attorney said Monday as she announced that a monthlong sting of would-be customers had netted lawyers and doctors among the 104 individuals charged with patronizing a prostitute. Front and center at the news conference held by Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice was a display of the mug shots of the 104 men arrested in the “Flush the Johns” sting, the New York Daily News reports.

“This whole concept of looking at johns as victims—they’re not victims! They’re further exploiting and victimizing trafficked women and men,” Rice said.

In the entire decade, only 39 individuals had previously been arrested in Nassau County on this charge, Newsday reports on its Viewsday page, questioning whether law enforcement efforts were best expended in this manner.

All of those arrested in the Nassau sting were men, and that wasn’t because the DA’s office failed to include women among those solicited in Internet advertising targeted at potential customers for the sting, the article noted. Attempts were also made to lure female customers, but none responded.

Those charged were reportedly arrested after police say they videotaped them meeting undercover officers by prearrangement at a hotel and offering them money for sex. A Newsday (sub. req.) article and a press release from the DA provide further details.

Hat tip: Daily Mail.

Related coverage: “Lawyer accused of lying about claimed ‘self-employment’ as prostitute and name used in online ads”

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