An anti-prostitution sting conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division Thursday afternoon resulted in the arrests of seven women and one man on charges ranging from prostitution to criminal trespass, terroristic threats, possession of a controlled substance, and public lewdness. One of the women arrested was charged with Felony prostitution, due to previous convictions. A 44-year-old woman and 35-year-old man were arrested for public lewdness after officers observed them engaged in sexual conduct in a public place. The other women were arrested after they solicited an undercover CCPD Officer 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 Operations Division Crime Reduction Unit Officers, as well as civilians with the Red Cord Initiative. The Red Cord Initiative 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 the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, social service organizations, the Nueces County District Attorney Office, and the 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.
Two of the seven women arrested during Thursday’s operation agreed to participate and were accepted into the program. Since its inception in 2013, 212 men and women have been arrested for prostitution during these operations, 107 have qualified for the program, 66 were accepted, and 19 have graduated from the program. The Red Cord initiative receives no government funding and is supported entirely through donations. To learn more, volunteer or donate, citizens can visit the Coastal Bend Wellness foundation at http://www.cbwellness.org.
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.