November 30, 2006
In an undercover sting operation, Charlottesville Police charged several women suspected of being prostitutes.
Since Monday undercover officers have trolled the streets of Charlottesville looking for suspected prostitutes. One of the locations police believe they hang out is on Cherry Avenue near Tonsler Park.
In the last three days their sting netted seven arrests. The women charged range in age from 31-years-old to 55. Police said some allegedly prostituted themselves to pay for drug habits.
Wednesday night, on the final night of the sting, police let CBS19 bring cameras along. An undercover officer, posing as a John, approached a woman. Police said she made an offer and they swarmed in for the arrest. 33-year-old Aquinda Anderson was charged with one count of prostitution.
“We’re certainly not going to tolerate that type of risk to our community. Again it’s not just a crime issue it is a public health issue and we are going to take it very seriously,” said Charlottesville police Chief Tim Longo.
Prostitution is just a misdemeanor. All of the women charged spent the night and jail and were out by the following morning. In fact one of the women arrested Monday night was spotted back on the street Wednesday night. And Thursday afternoon we spotted another woman arrested back on Cherry Avenue.
"I don't think we'll ever stop it but we'll certainly put together a fight sufficient enough to deter it," said Longo.
If convicted, the maximum the women could face is 12 months in jail and a fine.