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Prostitutes, johns nabbed in Orem police sting

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OREM -- Orem police are cracking down on what they say is a growing problem: prostitution. In two operations they've arrested both prostitutes as well as johns -- the men who pay for their services.

The prostitution crackdown by police is happening in Orem, but detectives say people from all over the Wasatch Front are involved in the crime and appear to be using the Internet to meet.

"[When] we identified there were people using the Internet for prostitution, a group of officers started putting together an operation to stop it, said Orem police Sgt. John McCombs.

During an operation back in December, and one yesterday in Orem, a total of 18 people have been caught. They come from all walks of life, from blue-collar workers to professionals.

"Johns have been as young as 18, as old as their 60s; and prostitutes as young as 18. And we had one [prostitute] as old as 58 years old. So, they run the whole course of society," McCombs said.

The men have been cited and released for sexual solicitation, which is a misdemeanor charge. The women, who police say are being paid well in most cases, face charges of prostitution.

"I don't think their family members even know what they are up to. There are certain times of the day they do it to hide it from their family -- on the part of the prostitutes and the man who is coming see them," McCombs said.

He continued, "Most of them, prostitutes and Johns, we've dealt with are married. And you can talk about victimless crimes, but they have children and wives and husbands who are home who are also victims of this."

Orem police were reluctant to talk specifics about the prostitution operation. That's because they tell us they intend to keep cracking down.

All of the suspects, who police declined to identify, have been given a summons to appear in court to answer to the charges.


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