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SkipTheGames.Com Prostitution Stings

SkipTheGames.Com Prostitution Stings

Area law enforcement in Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina, have recently been running prostitution stings using the website www.skipthegames.com.

In these stings police post advertisements pretending to be escorts. People who respond to the ad are then given the address to meet the escort at an area hotel (incall service). People who actually show up at the hotel are arrested for solicitation of prostitution, along with any other relevant charges. Skipthegames.com has been in operation since 2014, and has become one of the go-to sites for law enforcement use since backpage.com has been taken down.

These are sting operations, where the police rent a motel room specifically to make arrests. Multiple police officers are on standby to respond to text messages or phone calls from targets. Police are looking to arrest anyone who responds, this includes those in the military, with professional jobs, or no prior criminal record.

After someone appears at the motel, the undercover officer signals law enforcement when it’s time to make the arrest. Police are waiting in the room and in the adjoining room, and usually multiple officers rush out to make the arrest. Arrests happen very quickly, and police can be very physically rough. Because police are trying to arrest many people in a short time period those arrested are quickly taken away from the room, and may be loaded into a police van to be driven to the jail as a group.

Once arrested, people are held until bond court. This can take several hours or even overnight. Once bond is posted (or if a personal recognizance bond is given), it will take 2-4 hours normally to be released. In some instances police will issue a press release to local TV stations and newspapers, providing them with the name and photograph of those arrested.

Being arrested for prostitution in one of these stings is not the same as being convicted. People who are arrested can and should hire a lawyer if they want to avoid the criminal record and penalties that can come with the charge. There are a variety of possible defenses to these charges that can help achieve those objectives. Examples include:

  • Is there actual evidence of a specific intent to solicit prostitution, or were communications less specific?
  • Did the police conduct in setting up the sting amount to entrapment?
  • Was Miranda properly given and waived prior to any questioning by police?
  • Was there a transfer or exchange of money?
  • Is there proof that someone who happened to be at the motel was actually the same person communicating with law enforcement earlier?
  • Are there any counseling or pre-trial programs that can help avoid the conviction?

In many instances the prosecutor can have difficulty in proving a prostitution charge. In these instances we want to push for a total dismissal of the charge in order to protect our client’s reputation and standing in the community. There are opportunities to defend or challenge arrests from any type of situation.

All services we provide in defending prostitution charges are made with the greatest amount of discretion possible. Things you discuss with our office are confidential, and we understand how important it can be to your employment and family to have your privacy protected. To schedule a consultation regarding your case contact us at 1-888-3201.6004.

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