Craigslist ad leads San Juan police to family prostitution ring
Sat, 20 Jul 2013 00:47:52 GMT —
Action 4 News cameras were rolling when San Juan police set up their undercover sting at a local motel.
Not only did they catch the women who were exchanging money for sexual favors, but they also arrested those who made them do it.
Kassandra Lopez was heard calling for her mother while the 22-year-old was being arrested for prostitution.
Some six women are facing promotion of prostitution charges while three of them are facing prostitution charges.
Sgt. Rolando Garcia with San Juan Police Department said they've done several operations to crackdown on the world TMs oldest profession.
But Sgt. Garcia said this one was different.
"This is the first one we did off a website like Craigslist. When we first learned about it we were kind of shocked at what was out there and how blatant it was, Sgt. Garcia said.
The ad was was listed under Craigslist beauty services where among the hundreds of postings, the women were selling their bodies under the blanket of "massage therapist."
The ad said therapeutic massage but once they got to the room, it allegedly no longer became about a massage.
The women allegedly offered sexual services for anywhere from $70 to $600 dollars, but they weren TMt alone.
All three of the women that were called showed up with someone else.
In Kassandra Lopez's case, her family had dropped her off at the hotel room.
She later told investigators her mom, Annie Lopez, was pimping her. Her father was found in the car allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
"She had been doing that for a while, ever since she was a child, Sgt. Garcia said. So anytime that comes into play, we want to make sure we focus on the family from there to make sure is this an isolated incident."
Police say they took the family into custody. Their main concern was a teenager who was with the group.
"Anytime there is an exploitation of children we take it very seriously and we investigate it to the fullest, Sgt. Garcia said.
San Juan police said finding ads for sex on Craigslist is concerning because it is publicly posted and anyone can readily see the ads without any content barriers.
They say they are going to aggressively target this crime to ensure both women and children are not being sexually exploited.