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Backpage Police Stings
22 September 2016 | Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Sex Crimes,
If you have been accused of prostitution, you are likely worried about the consequences that could follow. If convicted, you could face penalties such as prison time and steep fines. In addition, you will have to register as a sex offender once you are released from custody. If you or a loved one is facing a prostitution charge, contact Hessler Law Firm at (317) 886-8800. Our skilled Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure your case reaches the best possible outcome.
Since the dawn of the internet, prostitution has been advertised on a number of sites. Craigslist was the website of choice for years until they removed their adult services section in 2010. Backpage, a site very similar to Craigslist, makes it easy for prostitutes to advertise sexual services. It is also the perfect venue for potential customers, or “Johns”, to seek out what they are interested in. Prostitution advertisements typically list services that are very specific and state that money must be exchanged.
In Indiana, prostitution is defined as two parties engaging in a lewd, or sexual, act in exchange for currency or another form of payment. While the act is supposed to involve physical contact, anything that pushes the interaction closer towards a sexual act can be used for conviction. Something as simple as placing money on a table or a sex worker getting in a John’s car can lead to prostitution charges.
At the beginning of a sting operation, police post an advertisement on Backpage offering sexual services in exchange for money. The advertisement does not usually contain explicit language, but instead uses code words for certain sex acts. Examples include “Greek” as a code for anal sex and “French” as a code for oral sex. Once a potential customer responds to the advertisement, they are provided with very general information, such as the street they should arrive at and approximately how much the service will cost.
From there, a second call is made from the patron to the undercover cop. It is during this call that the john is given more specific information, such as which motel he should go to. Once the customer is in the room with the undercover cop, the officer asks questions such as “What do you want me to do?” and “How much are you willing to spend?” The answers to these questions are used to establish an agreement to exchange sex for money. This conversation is also recorded and used as evidence in court.
At this point, the officer goes in for the kill, asking the John to place the money on the table in exchange for sexual services. Once the money is laid out, the police have all the proof they need to make an arrest. Officers will usually rush into the room once the currency transaction has taken place.
The skilled Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys at Hessler Law understand that people are often falsely accused of prostitution. It could also be that your rights were violated, meaning that you were abused or treated unfairly by law enforcement. If you or a loved one has been charged with prostitution, contact Hessler Law Firm at (317) 886-8800 for an initial, free phone consultation. We will do everything in our power to fight for your freedom and get your charges reduced or dismissed, if possible.