Consumers of local escort and massage services can breathe a sigh of relief due to the combined efforts of the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement and the Department of Public Safety.
Improperly licensed practitioners, some even willing to have sex for money, have been removed from the marketplace. So too has a victim of sex trafficking, officials reported in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.
The release reads as follows:
ESCORT STING NETS FOUR ARRESTS
INDIANAPOLIS - The Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) recently partnered for an undercover sting of escorts as part of an ongoing effort to combat prostitution in the city.
"The partnership between IMPD and DCE is just one of many examples of how City agencies work together to holistically address issues that affect our City," said Rick Powers, DCE Director. "Operations such as these allow the City to tackle nuisances through both criminal and civil penalties."
IMPD Vice detectives researched online advertisements of suspected escorts and arranged appointments at one of three area hotels. Upon arrival, detectives conducted undercover operations to determine if the escorts would engage in prostitution and made arrests when appropriate. DCE staff issued Uniform Traffic Tickets (UTTs) to the escorts for not having an escort license, as required by City Code. UTTs establish a court date by which a judge may impose fines up to $2,500.
A total of six escorts responded to meeting requests, resulting in four arrests, six UTTs for no escort license and one UTT for no massage therapist license.
"The escort sweep with DCE was a great success with both agencies working extremely well together. In addition to the violations for prostitution and no escort license, the Vice Unit located a victim of human trafficking and placed her into protective custody," said Lt. Richard Kivett, IMPD Vice Section Supervisor.
More information about licensing requirements is available at www.indy.gov/licensing.
The mission of the Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) is to improve the quality of life in the City of Indianapolis through strategic application of civil code regulation; effective licensing, permitting, inspection, enforcement, and abatement practices; and local government oversight of property safety and maintenance, business, event, professional, and construction industries.