Arrests in Prostitution Sting at Hillcroft and
February 18, 2005 -- On Thursday,
February 17, 2005 the Houston Police Department's Vice Division,
with assistance from the Westside Patrol and Criminal Intelligence
Divisions, conducted a prostitution sting operation at Hillcroft
and Gulfton that resulted in the arrests of 28 suspects. A total
of 23 men were arrested and charged with soliciting undercover
female officers for prostitution. Five female prostitutes were
arrested, including two that had left their escort service business
card in the hotel where the command post was operating. The offense
is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail,
a $2,000.00 fine or both.
The reverse sting was in response to citizen
complaints that the high volume of prostitution is deteriorating
their neighborhood and causing tenants to move from the high-rise
office buildings in the area. Restaurants and small businesses
in the area have complained that customers are driven away by
the numerous prostitutes working in their parking lots, and some
citizens have said they are afraid to get out of their cars.
The public often perceives that only the prostitute
commits the criminal violation, but the law applies to anyone
that offers or agrees to engage in a sexual act for a fee. "If
vice officers can impact the financial incentive by reducing the
number of customers, we believe there will be a direct correlation
in the reduction of prostitutes in the area," says Captain
Steve Jett of the Vice Division. Additionally, undercover female
officers had a number of men who were very concerned they were
undercover police officers and backed out after beginning to proposition
them. Jett says this indicates that the recent publicity of these
operations is beginning to work.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.