Skip to comments.Fayetteville police to use new laws to target prostitution
Posted on 01/05/2014 2:09:36 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Fayetteville police are using a new anti-prostitution law that aims to reduce sex trafficking by pursuing the customers and operators of prostitution rings.
Three people were arrested Dec. 27 on felony charges of promoting prostitution, one of several new anti-prostitution statutes created in the Safe Harbor for Victims of Human Trafficking and for Prostituted Minors act. Police said they believe it is the first time they have used the new law.
"I think that it's definitely going to come in handy when we do our prostitution specials, when we're actually looking for the johns," said Sgt. Kellie Berg, head of the Police Department's Special Victims Unit.
Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said it's another tool for law enforcement.
"The legislature appears to be trying to give law enforcement and prosecution a tool to prosecute and convict and punish, hopefully, those that are involved in promoting and advancing prostitution," West said.
Customers used to face misdemeanor charges at most for patronizing prostitutes. Now, in some instances, they can be charged with felonies - convictions may carry prison time and will give them the lifetime of difficulties that a felony criminal record imposes.
"That, I can't wait to use, because in all honesty, the last time we did a prostitution special, I think we gave citations to 20, 25 people. And I can tell you that I didn't go to court on one of those," Berg said.
"Most of the time they're dismissed" or reduced to lesser charges, she said.
The new laws passed the General Assembly unanimously over the summer and took effect Oct. 1. Republican state Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilmington, the prime sponsor, said the law is needed because North Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for sex trafficking.
"North Carolina will become the toughest state in the union on pimps and johns," Goolsby wrote on his blog Oct. 1. "We will also become the most compassionate state in dealing with prostitutes who are often the minor victims of sex trafficking."
According to the text of the Safe Habor act and Goolsby's blog, the new laws:
Classify persons under age 18 as minors and declare them immune to prosecution for prostitution. Instead, they are considered victims of a crime. This is a significant change in state policy in that most North Carolina criminal statutes treat a person age 16 and older as an adult.
Johns stopped for the first time face misdemeanor charges - but if a person age 18 or older patronizes a prostitute who is under 18 or who is severely mentally disabled, the crime is a felony. Further, judges are no longer allowed to grant johns a prayer for judgment, a means of punishing the defendants without putting a conviction on their criminal records, for soliciting a prostitute.
Make it a felony to engage in activities that promote prostitution, such as advertising their services on the Internet.
Provide prostitutes who are first-time offenders an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction if they get counseling, submit to drug tests and meet other requirements. Victims of sex trafficking can get their past convictions vacated. "This provision will allow these women to get a fresh start in life," Goolsby said.
On Dec. 27, Fayetteville officers arrested three people at the Innkeeper hotel on Skibo Road on felony charges of promoting prostitution. They were a 21-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl from Raleigh.
Another person rented rooms at the hotel, and these three were using them, Berg said. The hotel became suspicious of the group and called the police, she said.
Officers didn't catch the three committing any sex acts, Berg said, and no customers were arrested. But the police found advertisements on backpage.com, a classified advertising website that is frequently used by prostitutes, she said.
The promoting-prostitution charge against the 17-year-old may have to be dismissed, Berg said, because under the new law, she is immune from prosecution because of her age.
“...come in handy when we do our prostitution specials...”
For future reference:
Fayetteville, New York
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville, West Virginia
Does that go somewhere around the “..TOPICS: US: North Carolina;...” section or did you add that part?
Fayetteville Arkansas would never enact laws like this. It would totally undermine the University professors who whoremonger the students for grades (ala Clintons) and kill the city’s cash cow.
Do GI’s still get paid once a month?
You finally get a clue that it is Fayetteville NC if you read down about
1/2 way into the article. It helps when the state is identified in the
title or in the posting.
Fayetville, N.C., huh..?
This is just a creative, stealthy attack on non-homosexuals in the U.S. military.
..TOPICS: US: North Carolina;...
Does that show up in the info when you are just looking at comments, threads,
etc or do you have to go search for it in some other screen?
I don't know about that. Sometimes, though, the shortfall in revenue from the speed trap division must be compensated for. In other words, justify our jobs.
I didn’t mean this as a criticism of the story or the poster, just that it’s a bugaboo of mine that the gazillion local news websites out there don’t mention what state they are from for some unknown reason.
Which is especially funny when they are in a very common place name.
Often, they even tease more by mentioning something like “the most popular news source in the tri-state area”, though there are 35 places on land in the US where three states meet.
No it’s at the bottom of the original post.
You can clink on Topic or Key Word and add your own.
Thanks. I knew that but guess I forgot.
I guess the town has totally handled all their violent crime issues. Or perhaps the cops have decided that busting prostitutes and their customers is a safe way to crank up their arrest numbers.
Crime fighting in our town is a work om progress