Police had tough words for prostitutes and pimps as officers
wrapped up an investigation that put five out-of-town women behind
bars for solicitation.
Police had tough words for prostitutes and pimps as officers wrapped up an investigation that put five out-of-town women behind bars for solicitation.
“They are in conflict with our philosophy of maintaining a city in which our residents and law-abiding visitors can enjoy a safe place to live, work and play,” police said in a press release announcing the arrests. “The disposition of our Department is that we will take whatever steps are necessary to dissuade those who choose to engage in illegal activities within our city from doing so.”
Police had been hearing that people were coming to Gilroy to conduct “prostitution-related transactions” and began an investigation that resulted in the arrest of five women at a south Gilroy hotel about 6 p.m. Friday. The women had been using the Internet and other unspecified ways to attract clients, police said. Police apprehended the suspects after an officer posed as someone looking for prostitutes, Sgt. Wes Stanford.
None of the alleged prostitutes appeared to be working together, Stanford said.
During interviews with police, the women admitted they had been arrested for similar crimes and at least one had been involved in “procuring a minor for lewd and/or lascivious acts,” police said.
While police said they did not arrest any men related to this prostitution sting, they offered a stern warning.
“We are also aware of males soliciting women in the same fashion,” police said. “They are not at all immune from prosecution and investigations into their activities could follow suit.”
Police may have a future sting operation in which they try to apprehend those who solicit prostitutes, Stanford said.
Robbery rates often increase in places where prostitution becomes common, and the practice can lead to the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, Stanford said.
Police did not want to name the hotel because it had agreed to cooperate with the police sting on the condition that it was not named, and police stressed that the hotels involved are usually not at fault as they are merely renting rooms to customers.
“You can’t always guarantee that (customers are) not going to engage in criminal behavior,” Stanford said.
Typically, if someone suspicious is staying at a hotel for several days in a row, the hotel management contacts police, he said.
The five arrested women were:
-Leah Marie Belanger, 23, of Seaside
-Keisha Shamane Pagan, 38, of Sacramento
-Crystal Starr Haverly, 29, of Monterey
-Kristina Marie Kenna, 20, of San Jose
-Christy Marie Cravalho, 27, of unspecified address
Anyone with information about this or other incidents can call police at 846-0350.