Eight Arrested for Solicitation for Prostitution on K Street

From MPD:

“On July 15, during the early morning hours, THE MPD Human Trafficking Unit conducted an operation in the 1100 block of K Street, NW. The operation resulted in eight arrests for “Solicitation for Prostitution.”

21 Comment

  • This is a little confusing to me. The Human Trafficking Unit was in charge, which seems like acknowledgement that a lot of prostitutes are victims of trafficking. Is that how they always operate, to arrest them first? What next? Is there any care taken of these extremely vulnerable individuals? And is putting an arrest on the record of a trafficking victim who’s been sexually exploited and is probably in a foreign country with no support really the best way to help her?
    Or maybe they arrested 8 pimps. In which case, never mind.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I believe the “johns” were the eight arrested here.

      • Oh, that makes sense. Carry on!

      • I found that confusing as well. Agree that the women shouldn’t be arrested–the johns should, since that model seems to work well in countries like Sweden, and so many women are trafficked.

        • What good does it do to arrest the johns? Sure, it may result in some embarrassment, but it’s not much of a deterrent if it’s only happening during the occasional sting operation. It’s like arresting drug users when the real problem lies in the production and trafficking of drugs. Going after the prostitutes and in turn their employers is the only way to make a change. Prostitution is a huge problem in DC. I work next door to an upscale hotel and when I’m at the office late, it’s not uncommon to see hoes walking right through the front door.

          • Eh, arresting even high-level drug dealers has failed to make a difference in usage rates. I think changing demand is a better approach, which arresting johns does better than arresting prostitutes.

            Well, that and making prostitution legal and regulated, which is what should happen.

            Of course, I’d love for there to be more and better programs out to *save* people who are being trafficked, as opposed to arresting them, and then getting them to give evidence on their employers. There are such programs out there, but like all things that make the world a better place, they are woefully underfunded!

          • clevelanddave

            This is a counterfactual because you don’t know what the usage rates would be for drugs if you didn’t arrest the traffickers and dealers. My guess is that you would have a far, far higher prevalence of drug dealing and consequently availability, use, addiction and violence by traffickers fighting for corners and territories if you didn’t go after them.

    • Such is the problem — often these individuals are held responsible as opposed to the people that exploit them. It’s a vicious cycle. Prostitution is a survival trade — if only we had more support systems in place and less prosecution.

  • Interesting, I never noticed much activity around there. Two blocks north is a different story. Amazing how many buyers and sellers are still out there around 6AM. The johns seem to be a lot of pre-shift construction workers.

    • you haven’t looked hard enough 😉 I used to work at 12th and K and the area is filled with them in the wee hours of the morning (my job started at 6am and i’d see them getting out of cars in front of my office building, walking up and down the streets, pimps on corners).

      • Agreed, very busy in this area when I bike into work at 7am. There was one walking down the bike lane just the other day!

    • There are routinely prostitutes walking the streets between 10th and 12th and NY Ave and P Street in the mornings between 7am and 8am. I’ve seen them several times while on my way to work, most recently on Monday. I’m surprised it’s taken MPD this long to do a round-up.

  • I just moved to this area last month. When I walk to work at 7 a.m. every morning, there is always at least one prostitute on K between 11th & 12th. The other day I saw 5 or 6 of them walking in the middle of the street, in danger of being hit by a car, and swaying around like they were on drugs. I’m glad the police are cracking down on the people taking advantage of these women, and I hope the situation improves.

    • I see them almost daily as well. I saw several on my run around 5:45 am this morning at the corner of 11th and L..

    • This is not the first of these kinds of stings in this area. I doubt very much the situation will improve. I’ve lived near here for about 4 years and it has been a constant occurrence.

  • I stopped feeling bad and just started calling the cops. When I walked to the metro down M St, they would stop cars at 12th and M at 8AM. You can’t do that. They walk in the middle of the street to get attention. I’ve lived/worked around there for 10 years and it’s pretty much been the only constant!

    • Egad

      I lived at 12th and M 10 years ago and there would be a van parked along side my apartment where the “ladies” would service their clients. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

  • Please send this unit to 14th & Spring…

  • End demand approaches (including “re-branding” vice cops into “human trafficking units” so they can get more money to keep arresting sex workers- look at the numbers and results of these new units- dollars vsarrests vs “rescues”) they don’t work- but they get the public all worked up. They cause harm. I am a social worker who works with survivors of HT. To those who reference the “swedish model’ it doesn’t work either. Sex workers there are simply moving underground where its more dangerous for them. And it certainly wouldn’t work here. New Zealand might be a better place to look for a model.

    This NYT article sums up one aspect of the problem: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/opinion/sunday/ending-demand-wont-stop-prostitution.html?_r=0

    “Attempting to implement the Swedish law in our punitive environment would most likely mean the criminalization of even more of those it’s intended to help — without a Scandinavian-style safety net for those leaving the life.”


  • This brings to mind an article I read yesterday about how Jack Evans, one of our more worthless and corrupt council members, wants to start impounding the cars of alleged solicitors of prostitution. This is just slightly ironic, considering how Jack Evans has such a hard time parking legally himself.

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