Being arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute is not only embarrassing, but it could adversely affect your entire life, including your job, your relationships, and your reputation in the community. Even worse, you don’t even have to be convicted in order to experience the sting of humiliation, and the stigma attached to simply being accused is often enough to ruin someone’s life. Colorado Springs police officers know this – and now they are using it to their advantage.
As of April, Colorado Springs police are shaming “johns” by publicly broadcasting the names of men convicted of solicitation of prostitution. Six people were announced along with their mug shots on media outlets and on the police department’s own Facebook page. This public shaming tactic is the newest way police are trying to stop the upsurge in the commercial sex trade business in Pikes Peak.
This approach has the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado more than a little concerned. They are worried that innocent family members may suddenly find themselves victims of the new public shaming policy.
Colorado Springs is not alone in their public shaming policies. Several cities and counties across the country have already begun such public shaming practices, including throughout California. Yet, this practice is not without controversy. In Oakland, the police release the mug shots of arrested and suspected “johns” just 48 hours after their arrest – and long before they ever step foot in a court of law.
Other cities in the United States have posted “johns” information and mug shots on billboards and on public access television. In Corpus Christi, Texas, convicted johns were required to place bumper stickers on their vehicles that said “Stop Prostitution“.
Supporters of public shaming programs for prostitution say that these programs dissuade individuals from seeking sex from prostitutes. A 2008 study found that 87% of men would NOT solicit prostitution if they were named or pictured in the newspaper because of it.
Yet, criminal defense attorneys and opponents to the public shaming program have pointed to failed programs in Denver, Wichita, and Richmond California. Denver stopped its “Johns TV” initiative after just a few short years because it failed to produce the desired results. In Richmond, police pulled the plug on the program just 72 hours after it started because social media users were posting personal information about the john’s, such as workplace and home addresses.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Prostitution Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute in Colorado Springs, it is important to build a swift and solid defense against these charges. Call Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer Sarah Christensen today at (719) 634-7770.