Buyer beware: King County going after men who buy sex

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SEATTLE — Buyer beware. In the war on prostitution, King County is now going after the men looking to buy sex, while getting help for those in the sex trade.

“These girls are exploited over and over and over again,” said Noel Gomez, a former prostitute who now helps other women and girls get out of the lifestyle. “Now, finally there’s some protection and some hope for these women.”

Gomez says that’s because police and prosecutors are no longer targeting prostitutes. Instead, they are after the men who pay for sex.

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced the new push to get help for women trapped in the sex trade, and go after the men keeping the trade alive, especially on the Internet. They’ll do it by setting up stings on popular sex-for-money websites.

Data pix.

Prosecutors estimate that about 27,000 King County men are soliciting sex online every day.

The new goal is a monumental change. For years, prostitutes were the targets of law enforcement. Gomez remembers police cuffing her and letting the 'john' go free.

"The officer asked the john how much money he had given me and took my money and gave it back to the john," said Gomez.

By going after the buyers, police believe they can reduce prostitution by 20 percent in the next two years.

"I think the men are very afraid of being caught," said Gomez. "They’re used to the women being the targets and being the prey. Now they are."







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  • John Fuller

    The streets are dangerous and people will try to murder you and hurt you these days. Guys that are willing to pay for sex are creeps anyway!

  • The World is Ending

    This is an “industry” that pretty much has always been around and always will be so why not legalize it that way it can be licensed, taxed, monitored (by the health department) and regulated . Move it off the street in to legal licensed brothels, that way if any one cases a problem the police can deal with the trouble maker. Both the police and health dept. could talk to the “employees” (confidentially) on a regular bases to see if they need to be aware of anything. (OK LET THE NAME CALLING START)

  • Dan

    “selling is legal, sex is legal. Why is it illegal to sell something that is perfectly legal to give away?” – George Carlin (edited for language)
    I’m at a loss as to why they spend SO much money on this. The stings require hundreds of man hours costing tax payers by the truck load. Meanwhile 2 of my cars are stolen and my neighbors house is broken into. They dont even send the police anymore unless you request one, just send you the paperwork to fill out. But at least they stopped someone from having sex!!!

    • Parissa

      What people fail to realize is that the vast majority of these women are not in this business my choice, they are coerced, forced, and manipulated into a “job” that amounts to forced rape multiple times a day. I think that is a crime we should spend our public funds on and I would definitely categorize it as a higher priority than car theft. Just because a form of oppression has been around since the beginning of time doesn’t make it right. We are a civilized society that has allowed this horrific form of violence against women to go on for too long.

  • Daisy

    They need to reassign all the cops used in these crackdowns to work on ACTUAL crime. What consenting adults choose to do behind closed doors should be nobody else’s business and that is a fact.

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