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Five woman accused of being prostitutes are off the streets thanks to an undercover sting by the Zanesville Police Department.
Capt. Tony Coury said after recent complaints from downtown area business owners, ZPD conducted an undercover sting using an informant and arrested Misty Dawn Taylor, Morgan Jackson, Jennifer Toombs, Donna Schrack and Ashley Lombardi this past week. They have been charged with either loitering to solicit or soliciting. The women range in age from 20 to 40-years-old.
"Right now we're seeing a large number of girls working a lot in the downtown area and they've been working here for a long time," said Capt. Coury. "But, we continue to enforce the solicitation charges and get them locked up."
Soliciting sex is a 3rd degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine and up to 90 days in jail. Coury said prostitution and drugs go hand-in-hand and that most prosititues are working to satisfy their drug addiction. Once out of jail, Coury said most of the women return to the streets and continue prostituting. One of the women picked up has been arrested 14 times for soliciting.
"We're not only focusing in on girls, we're also focusing on the guys that pick these girls up. So you know, we will reverse that activity and put our own people out there and get these guys that want to go pick up the prostitutes, we'll pick them up also."
Prostitution can happen anywhere and if you notice it in your neighborhood, make sure to notify the police. The Zanesville Police Department will continue to crack down on prostitution in the city.