Polk detectives say computers change how prostitutes find work - WRBL

Polk detectives say computers change how prostitutes find work

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A total of 98 people were arrested Tuesday as part of a sex trafficking investigation A total of 98 people were arrested Tuesday as part of a sex trafficking investigation
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Prostitution has moved into the digital age, and so has detectives looking to arrest people for the crime.

On Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd Announced the arrest of 98 people on prostitution charges. Undercover detectives arrested prostitutes, pimps and the men looking to buy their services.

An undercover Sergeant in the sex crimes says many of the deals for sex are set up on line.

"We place ads, or answer ads different sites and they come to us," said the Sergeant who cannot be named for her own security.

After placing the ads, the offenders - both men and women - will set up a meeting and the sheriff's deputies simply wait at the arraigned location to make the arrests.

Another detective in the unit says one of the most commonly used websites is called "Backpage." The website features ads for male and female escorts, strippers, and people giving body rubs.

"They're not hiding it. They're being very open about it," said the detective.

Sheriff Grady Judd wants the website shut down, but it operates outside of Florida, and so far prosecuting it has been difficult.

"This web page, Backpage, is out for money and they're greedy. They don't care if they facilitate the prostitution of your daughter," said Judd.

The sheriff says the web page is making money as the direct result of prostitution.

"Well it just infuriates me. It infuriates me that we elect people to public office that won't fight against that," said Judd.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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