Police arrest dozens, including 15-year-old girl, in prostitution sting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Police arrest dozens, including 15-year-old girl, in prostitution sting

A woman briefly resists arrest. A woman briefly resists arrest.
A woman is arrested during the sting. A woman is arrested during the sting.
The women police picked up were held in a staging area underneath a Jackson Avenue overpass. The women police picked up were held in a staging area underneath a Jackson Avenue overpass.
Women wait to be taken to jail inside a police truck. Women wait to be taken to jail inside a police truck.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police rounded up dozens of women Thursday they say were peddling sex.

Undercover officers posed as 'Johns' and wore hidden microphones during the daylong prostitution sting. Officers a total of 56 women were picked up, including a 15-year-old girl.

Officials said the girl was skipping class at the time she was picked up.

"Childhood life is gone," Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said.  "I'm not surprised.  Some of them started around 12-years-old."

Officials said many of the women picked up were repeat offenders.  While Action News 5 cameras were rolling, Blue Crush officers arrested one woman who briefly resisted arrest.  Later in the day, officers picked up a woman near a school.

The women police picked up were held in a staging area underneath a Jackson Avenue overpass.  They were then taken in groups to jail.

Memphis Police spokesperson Monique Martin said the crackdown was necessary because prostitution can lead to other crimes.

"It contributes a to a lot of other things we investigate and deal with day to day, such as robberies, identity thefts, and even homicides," she said.

It may be considered the world's oldest profession, but according to Godwin, police will continue their crackdown on prostitution.

Earlier in the week, police announced a new policy dubbed "Wheels for Deals," saying the car of any person caught soliciting a prostitute would be seized.  During a sting, more than 60 people were busted for approaching hookers along Lamar Avenue.

Officials said they hoped confiscating the vehicles would be a strong incentive to keep people away from prostitutes.


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