SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — For the first time in Orange County, authorities are fighting prostitution by shaming the men who attempt to pay for sex.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler accompanied police in their second sting as they went after prostitution customers, known as ‘johns’.
Santa Ana police watched as their fellow female officers went undercover, armed only with a tape recorder.
The officers record each man agreeing to sex for $40, and each time, Santa Ana police are waiting in an adjoining hotel room.
Police take photos and seize personal items, including hundreds in cash from each john.
“A lot of these johns are concerned that their wives or girlfriends or family members are going to see that they were arrested for this crime,” said a police official.
“We’re hoping that this approach will shame them, as well as deter them from coming out here.”
In addition to a citation, a summons for court is sent to the john’s home address.
“People who are purchasing other human beings for sex need to know that we are going to publicize the names of these sex purchasers, so that everyone knows what they’ve done,” said Assistant District Attorney Susan Schroeder.
“And everyone knows, including their spouses, what they can be exposed to.”
After drugs, Schroeder said prostitution is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in Orange County.