Arresting suspected prostitutes hasn’t curbed the problem in downtown Winchester, so police are trying a new angle.
They’re arresting the customers.
Friday, Winchester Police conducted an undercover operation around Main Street and several side streets.
In less than four hours, detectives arrested five men for prostitution and could have arrested more.
“We’re not looking to lock people up for months and months,” Winchester Police Capt. James Hall said.
“We want the potential customers to know we’re going to be out there.
“If we dry up the demand, hopefully the supply will go away.”
Though police have made arrests for prostitution in the past, Hall said the department continues to
prostitution continuing to occur around downtown Winchester. Though police have arrested women in the past, it seems to have had little effect, Hall said.
“We’ve targeted the prostitutes themselves in the past,” Hall said. “Now we’re targeting the customers themselves, the johns. We’ll continue this type of operation for the foreseeable future.
“If we can keep the johns off Main Street, we’ll keep the prostitutes off Main Street.”
Under Kentucky law, a person can be convicted of prostitution, a misdemeanor offense, if the person “engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.” Hall said the department believes that applies to both customers and suspected prostitutes.
According to court documents, the men offered anywhere from $20 for “sexual contact” to $100 for sexual intercourse without protection.
Those charged were:
— Grant L. Gray, 38, of 513 Acadia Way, prostitution.
— Troy E. Poe, 37, of Stanton, prostitution.
— Emiliano Rodriguez, 45, of Paris, prostitution, driving on a suspended operator’s license, possession of operator’s license while privileges are revoked.
— William Crouch, 78, of 81 Holiday Road, prostitution.
— Darius A. Holdguin, 22, of 58 N. Main St., prostitution, possession of marijuana.
Holdguin pleaded guilty Monday in Clark District Court and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, though 56 of those days were conditionally discharged for two years. The other four all posted bond and have not been arraigned yet.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.