An anti-prostitution sting conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division Thursday afternoon resulted in the arrest of seven men on charges of prostitution, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and fines up to $2,000. The men were arrested after they solicited an undercover CCPD Officer, posing as a prostitute, for sex acts in exchange for money. The operation targeted several north and west side neighborhoods frequented by prostitutes.
NVID Detectives were assisted in the operation by Directed Patrol and Uniform Division Officers, as well as civilians with the Red Cord Program. The Red Cord Program is a prostitution diversion program aimed to provide practical and emotional support for those involved in prostitution. The program is successful due to the collaboration between Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, social service organizations, Nueces County District Attorney Office, and Corpus Christi Police Department. The program affords those involved with sex work an opportunity to address the myriad of behavioral, social, and psychological problems they have faced throughout their lifetime. Since 2013, Red Cord has provided case management, health services, job training, substance abuse treatment, clothing, housing, counseling, and other social services needed to address the circumstances related to their involvement in prostitution. Participants who successfully complete the program have their cases dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office.
Six of the seven men arrested during Thursday’s operation agreed to attend a voluntary prostitution diversion education program at their expense. This program educates men about the negative consequences of prostitution, circumstances that may lead someone to purchase sex, and the impact they have on the individual they attempt to solicit sex in exchange for money. The fees raised from this program are then used to provide some of the resources mentioned above, to assist women seeking to escape the bondage of prostitution.
Although often inaccurately referred to as a “victimless” crime, prostitution is inextricably linked to multiple other crimes including assault, human trafficking, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and the spread of sexually transmitted infectious disease. Neighborhoods where prostitution is prevalent experience a drastic degradation of the quality of life that citizens expect and deserve. The Corpus Christi Police Department will continue to collaborate with all government and private entities to combat prostitution and help accomplish our mission of working with the community to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance public safety.