H-CENTRAL COAST

Sep 9, 2013 9:29 PM by Keli Moore

Questions remain after prostitution sting in SLO County

Many questions remain after a prostitution sting operation in San Luis Obispo County.

Ten women were caught up in the joint operation between the San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande Police Departments.

On Friday KSBY showed viewers photos of nine of the women who were taken to jail on prostitution charges, but no photos of the men who were accused of seeking services.

San Luis Obispo Police said Monday that 12 men were cited on location where they were seeking services, but none of them were taken to jail. Thus no mug shots were taken.

"When we are conducting a sting like this often other prostitutes will know other people who engage in the same criminal activity and by booking the females that ensure they are not contacting anyone or posting things online letting them know a sting is currently underway," explained Lt. Jeff Smith, San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The sting was conducted over the course of three days: last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

San Luis Obispo Police couldn't name the hotels involved because the hotels allowed them to use rooms for the operation. They do not want the reputation of area hotels to be tarnished, but do say prostitution is a very serious issue on the Central Coast.

Police said the three-night operation came about after several robberies and rapes involving prostitutes and those seeking services, which have taken place over the last few years.

Police also told KSBY many of the alleged prostitutes are not from the Central Coast.

Prostitution and the solicitation of prostitution are misdemeanor crimes.

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