Over the past few days we have learned of recent solicitation and prostitution arrests by Lexington area police departments.
The most common stings are designed to catch customers, and work like this:
Law enforcement posts an ad (most commonly now on backpage.com). Upon responding, prospective customers are asked to meet "in-call" at an area motel.
The motel room will have been staged in advance. There is a hidden camera, and police officers are hiding in the bathroom, closet, or adjoining room. There will be a female police officer pretending to be a prostitute. She will request that the customer leave their money on a table. She may also go to the bathroom to "freshen up". Within a few seconds multiple officers will rush into the room and handcuff the customer. They will be arrested and charged with prostitution pursuant to S.C. Code 16-15-110.
In a sting operation such as this the police department may arrest 10-15 individuals or more. As an intentional act, and jeopardizing the employment and family of the accused, the police usually will release the name and picture of everyone arrested to local media.
Everyone who has been arrested in one of these stings will have a criminal record of arrest. Those convicted face a lifetime conviction for prostitution, and are at risk for a jail sentence. Those who are convicted in court will run the risk of the conviction affecting employment and their personal lives for years to come.
At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we assist those who have been charged with solicitation or prostitution challenge the circumstances of their arrest. There are numerous legal options to challenge a prostitution sting arrest, including legal defenses such as entrapment and mere presence. It is important that anyone who has been charged consult with an attorney before going to court.
In the past, solicitation and prostitution cases have been made by officer's affiliated with West Columbia, Springdale, Irmo, Cayce, City of Columbia, and Lexington.
In addition to assisting clients with Lexington area prostitution matters we also regularly represent clients facing charges in Greenville. Contact our firm today!