12 men arrested in Bellevue prostitution sting

Bellevue police arrested 12 men in a prostitution sting.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police said detectives arrested 12 men in a two-day undercover prostitution sting.

During the operation, 66 men responded to a detective's ad on known prostitution websites, investigators said.

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"We don't want you patronizing a prostitute at all, and we absolutely don't want you doing it in Bellevue," said Capt. Dave Sanabria.

According to investigators, of the 12 men who were arrested, one was from Bellevue, many others drove to Bellevue from neighboring cities and one was on business from Georgia.

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Police said a 13th arrest would have been made if the person could find the hotel.

"Prostitution is not a victimless crime," Sanabria said. "The majority of the women become victims of rape, robbery and assault. Most are also coerced or forced to continue in the sex trade by a pimp and their economic circumstances."

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The men face a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute, according to police.

Also, the Bellevue city prosecutor will now recommend those arrested attend a mandatory 10-week Stopping Sexual Exploitation program.

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"Our goal is for these subjects to stop soliciting prostitutes," Sanabria said. "This program gives them the time, 10 weeks, and the education to understand how sexually exploiting women causes them harm, plus they'll learn tools to create healthy relationships in their own lives."

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