Bellevue Detectives arrested 12 men for patronizing a prostitute in a two-day undercover vice operation. The sting sends a deliberate message to those seeking to buy sex according to Captain Dave Sanabria, “We don’t want you patronizing a prostitute at all, and we absolutely don’t want you doing it in Bellevue.”
Throughout the operation, 66 men responded to the vice detective’s ads on known prostitution websites. Of the 12 arrested, one was from Bellevue, many others drove to Bellevue from neighboring cities, and one was on business from Georgia. There would have been 13 arrests if the person had been able to find the hotel. One suspect even arrived in a Ferrari.
“Prostitution is not a victimless crime,” Sanabria said. “The majority of the women become victims of rape, robbery, and assault. Most are also coerced or forced to continue in the sex trade by a pimp and their economic circumstances.”
Those arrested could also face new consequences. In addition to facing a misdemeanor charge of Patronizing a Prostitute, the Bellevue city prosecutor will now recommend suspects attend a mandatory ten-week Stopping Sexual Exploitation program through Seattle Against Slavery.
“Our goal is for these subjects to stop soliciting prostitutes,” Sanabria explains. “This program gives them the time, ten weeks, and the education to understand how sexually exploiting women causes them harm, plus they’ll learn tools to create healthy relationships in their own lives.”