The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

June 1, 2012

Misdemeanor charges of prostitution filed against three

WEBB CITY, Mo. —

A police sting operation Thursday at a Joplin motel nabbed two women and a man on prostitution charges.

Cpl. Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department said detectives set up a sting at the Holiday Inn, 3615 S. Range Line Road, targeting people advertising adult services on the website Backpage.com.

Two women, ages 20 and 40, and a 49-year-old man, all from Springfield, responded separately to requests for services made by the detectives, Niess said. He said the younger woman and the man were arrested and charged with the misdemeanor offense of engaging in sexual activities for payment. The older woman was cited for the offense and released.

Backpage.com is a classified advertising website that has come under fire from law enforcement officials in various states for its acceptance of adult services ads. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is among those who have expressed concern with the possibility of the website being used for human trafficking and the prostitution of children.

The sting operation Thursday is the second time Joplin police have targeted people advertising on Backpage.com locally.

Five women were arrested April 13 in an operation set up at a vacant house on 11th Street.

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