Seattle’s current prostitution sting: modern or misguided?

Seattle’s current prostitution sting: modern or misguided?

But when the authorities collect sex people, rather than taking these to prison, the undercover policeman drives to an RV or other outpost where they might be offered guidance and recommendations from members of the business for Prostitution Survivors, a support business composed of former sex staff members

The 11700 block of Aurora method North in Seattle, near where the city done its most recent pain. (Photo by Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

They begun with a post on the site Backpage: a€?Barbie’s Doll Household therapeutic massage & salon large starting.a€? Posted in , the notice made no reference to gender, but there have been clues that suggested things more than rub had been granted: women in tight t-shirts prepared underneath a pink-hued banner featuring the shape of a design, like those seen on a trucker’s dirt flaps. This huge beginning would be to take place somewhere in North Seattle – call for the target.

But the ad, uploaded on a niche site that knowingly permitted customers to market prostitution, was not actually for a freshly established brothel sometimes. It absolutely was, somewhat, the lure in a police sting, another in as many ages through the Seattle authorities division. 1st, referred to as Euro health spa procedure, ended within the arrests more than 200 guys in 2016. Barbie’s Dollhouse might possibly be round two.

This a€?end demanda€? approach might adopted by the urban area as a progressive option to the existing law-and-order weeks, an easy way to stamp out prostitution without penalizing the gender workers from inside the trade.

It has been championed by urban area Attorney Pete Holmes, exactly who very first began thinking about the newer means after a visit to Boston for a convention in 2012, and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who’s got even recognized money from a business that clearly encourages this unit.

Given that Barbie’s Dollhouse covers have started to maneuver through town’s legal program, security solicitors were discouraged that town is saying whatever view as a careless procedure. Virtually every instance that has been perhaps not a guilty plea in the 1st Euro health spa process had been ignored by either the assess or jury in addition to one accountable verdict that lead from the sting got overturned on appeal. The critics doubt this next game changes.

Likewise, some intercourse professionals dispute the surgery tend to be mistaken, criminalizing the things they think about a much safer form of prostitution while letting actual person traffickers off of the hook.

These stings go with the town’s wider strategy for focusing on prostitution, one concentrated instead of those attempting to sell sex, but on the group purchase it

Within a change toward the a€?Nordic Modela€? method of prostitution, the Seattle authorities office enjoys mostly quit concentrating on intercourse people for arrest. Officers using the department’s vice unit usually run undercover functions about road – along Aurora avenue, including – both as people searching for gender and people attempting to sell they.

Even though the vice unit may pick up a few sex purchasers – or a€?johnsa€? – by backpacking along Aurora method, how many those arrests have already been little set alongside the draw associated with the faux massage parlors. a€?We never ever anticipated this levels,a€? Sgt. Tom Umporowicz informed the Seattle period following Euro health spa operation, that was run out of limited institution region store.

That process contributed to 204 arrests and gotten common mass media focus. One year afterwards, before lots of the Euro Spa covers were solved in courtroom, the Barbie’s Dollhouse process premiered.

The men who answered the ad on Backpage were guided to a nondescript strengthening near the Aurora Avenue Home Depot, in North Seattle. Upon getting into, they might see escort sites Corona one of many undercover officers posing as a sex worker. The officer would ask the person if he wished to learn about their deals – a€?handjob,a€? a€?blowjoba€? or a€?full sex.a€?

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