Nassau County authorities named and shamed 104 suspected johns Monday who allegedly solicited sex from cops posing as prostitutes.
The month-long sting, dubbed “Operation Flush the Johns,” busted men as young as 17 and as old as 79. Two doctors and two dentists were among the suspects, Newsday reported.
The sting was meant to send a clear signal to men willing to pay for sex that they are enabling a brutal business, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
Sex workers “too often remain the prime targets in prostitution investigations while the johns who fuel the exploitation are treated as mere witnesses,” said Rice in a statement.
“My office and the police department are turning the tables on the illogical and immoral nature of that equation.”
The arrests were made between April 18 and May 24.
Undercover cops arranged the encounters through the controversial website Backpage.com. The rendezvous were then captured on hidden cameras in hotel rooms, according to Rice’s office.
“When the johns arrived, they met an officer posing as a prostitute, and once money was offered for sex, they were arrested and charged,” Rice wrote in a press release.
All 104 suspects pleaded not guilty and each faces a maximum of one year behind bars.
“We know that the commission of this specific crime is dramatically affected by the perceived risk of getting caught,” she added.
“We are giving fair warning to johns that the risk is growing rapidly.”
Read more: Daily News