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19 arrested in downtown prostitution investigation

Just one year after dozens of accused johns were arrested in downtown Grande Prairie, another 19 are facing charges. RCMP Superintendent Don McKenna says mounties spent three days over the past week addressing concerns about sex activities in the area.

“Workers in the sex trade industry represent a vulnerable sector of society,” he maintains. “Many sex workers suffer from addiction, mental health issues, and were victimized prior to entering the sex trade and are exploited.”

The 19 men arrested range in age from 23 to 69 years old and all have been charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration.
Four of the men are facing additonal charges relating to drugs and weapons offences, as well as assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. A total of 34 charges were laid.

A similar operation was run downtown in November 2017, leading to the arrest of 35 people. McKenna says police are committed to finding the people who cause the most harm in the community.

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“Police will continue to work with partners such as the PACE Sexual Assault Centre that offers a First Time Offender Prostitution Awareness Program, to protect this vulnerable population.”

Any suspicious people, vehicles, and activity should be reported to RCMP or Crime Stoppers. The City of Grande Prairie also has an anonymous Report-A-John line at 780-830-7077.

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