Prostitution cases are few and far between |

Prostitution cases are few and far between

Nicole Formosa

SUMMIT COUNTY The Summit County Sheriffs Office continues to investigate how far a potential prostitution ring may spread, following the arrest of an alleged prostitute and three of her alleged clients in Dillon Valley earlier this month.Lilly Peaks, 35, was arrested on charges of prostitution prohibited on Feb. 8, and three Dillon Valley men were arrested on suspicion of soliciting for prostitution and patronizing a prostitute. Summit County Sheriffs Office detective Joseph Cahill is working on the case, but because it is an ongoing investigation, he couldnt elaborate on what hes found so far.I think that this arrest demonstrates that (prostitution) does go on, but to what level its unknown, Cahill said.The last prostitution case District Attorney Mark Hurlbert could recall prosecuting in Summit County was three or four years back, and involved a woman who propositioned oral sex to three men for $50. She was found guilty of the misdemeanor and fined, he said.Throughout Hurlberts district which also includes Eagle, Lake and Clear Creek counties its rare to see prostitution cases make it to court, Hurlbert said.It really is not prevalent, period, he said. It kind of crops up in one county or another then goes away.But, that doesnt mean its not happening.Im sure it takes place, no question about it, said Summit County Undersheriff Derek Woodman, whos been with the department for almost 25 years. Were not unlike any other part of the country. I would imagine as guests come to our community, they might be looking for companionship and they might be willing to pay for it.He recalled an undercover sting several years back in Silverthorne, when police found out about some women who were offering sex through an escort service based in Frisco. They arranged to have an officer pose as a tourist and meet with an escort in a local hotel room. Police never were able to make a case out of it because the woman became scared and left the room, Woodman said.He speculated that prostitution is solicited in the area via the Internet, word-of-mouth, or it develops from a call to an escort service, which is a legitimate business.A current advertisement in the Summit Daily News offers a sensual massage for the mature gentleman for $250 per hour. Ive had many massages in my life and theyve never cost $250 an hour, Woodman said.Despite what may seem like a link to illegal activity, police arent in a position to devote much manpower to investigating prostitution, Woodman said. Resources are already spread thin, and there are more pressing cases that need to be focused on, plus people arent calling to complain about prostitution taking place, he said.Certainly we have discussed it on more than one occasion that we should put together a sting operation to try to curb whatever may be out there, Woodman said. We really truly dont know what type of an impact it is, what type of a problem it is.Vail, Colorado

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