Nine arrested in ‘john sting’ in Abbotsford

The men ranged in age from 22 to 80 and all were first-time offenders.

A 'john sting' in Abbotsford resulted in the arrests of nine men last week. The photo above shows a similar operation conducted in Surrey.

A “john sting” late last week in Abbotsford resulted in the arrests of nine men ages 22 to 80.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the sting was conducted Thursday and Friday in the downtown core and along the Clearbrook Road corridor to target people soliciting sex-trade workers.

MacDonald said all the arrested men were first-time offenders and have the option of attending “john school” rather than proceeding with criminal charges through the court system.

John school is designed to educate participants about the negative consequences of prostitution and the victimization of women.

MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department typically conducts john stings about twice a year, usually precipitated by concerns from sex-trade workers.

For example, he said the latest sting resulted after police received complaints about “bad dates” – men who either become violent or refuse to pay.

Previous stings resulted in men being arrested who were carrying weapons that included knives and zap straps, MacDonald said.

He said police typically target the johns, rather than the sex-trade workers, because prostitution is recognized as the victimization of women who often have addiction issues or sexual-abuse histories.

“If you think of the women involved in the sex trade as your daughters, mothers, sisters or aunts, you’ll see why we go after the consumers.”

MacDonald said prostitution in Abbotsford isn’t as visible as it once was, due to the rise in online solicitation that has taken the sex trade off the streets.

He said this relatively new form makes it more difficult for police to monitor the sex trade in the community.

“Unfortunately, in these cases, we end up responding more to calls after the fact, so you’ll hear about a bad date or you’ll hear about someone being ripped off.”

Last year, an Abbotsford man was charged with eight counts after two women  selling massage services on craigslist reported that he had sexually assaulted them in his apartment, in separate incidents.

One set of charges proceeded through the court system, and Paul Williams Holmes received a 19-month prison sentence in January of this year for unlawful confinement and uttering threats.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford playgrounds to re-open Monday

City urges public to bring hand-sanitizer and maintain physical distancing

Police watchdog investigating after man injured during Abbotsford standoff

Man seriously injured during arrest on May 21 at Abbotsford hotel room

New executive director for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Karen Dickenson Smith succeeds Karen McLean, who has retired after 22 years

Annual Walk for Alzheimer’s goes online on May 31

Event held every year in Abbotsford now raising funds through virtual event

UPDATE: Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford has been located

Police report that Antonio Fernandez, 29, has been found safe and sound

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read