Twenty two, that's how many prostitutes were arrested in just two two days in Memphis. Several were arrested last Thursday at the Baymont Inn on Shelby Oaks Drive.
Undercover officers hired "escorts" from internet websites with the purpose of meeting for sex. A quick internet search found numerous ads for Mid-South "escorts."
Most want what they call a "donation" which averages three hundred dollars an hour. Some try to skirt the law with statements like "Money exchanged is for time and companionship only."
Carol Wiley isn't surprised, "They pretty much are there because they think they can't do anything else."
Wiley works with Citizens for Community Values, she works to get women out of the escort or prostitution business, "They have to go for counseling which we pay for, they have to agree not to be involved with anyone in the industry. They have to agree to work on any alcohol or drug issues because most have those."
Wiley says she isn't surprised prostitutes are finding a home on the internet, "They believe they can't do anything else and they believe that's the only way they can eat and find a place to sleep."
Wiley echoes something police often say, that prostitution isn't just happening on street corners, "Kind of like ostriches with their head stuck in the sand and they think 'well that's just in the ghetto' and it's not."