Several prostitution suspects arrested in south St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis Police have released the mugshots of six women arrested during a recent prostitution investigation.

They said the women were picked up on Monday between 4pm and 6pm along a stretch of South Broadway.

Police describe the suspects as:

  • April Clepper, 43-year old white female
  • Danielle Langston, 30-year old white female
  • Rita Bauman, 42-year old white female
  • Lisa Rider, 42-year old white female
  • Melissa Maybearry, 34-year old white female
  • Jessica Cotham, 30-year old white female

"Unfortunately prostitution has been a long standing problem in the south Broadway area for decades probably 50 years maybe more," said Captain Steven Mueller with the police department.

Mueller said police are watching the stretch of South Broadway very closely and are working on trying to curb the very complex problem.

"We know where it's happening that's not the problem," he said, "the problem is how to get these women out of that life."

Mueller said that several outside factors including drug abuse, keep fueling the fire in what he calls, a vicious cycle.

"Many of them are not ready to give up the drug habit or the life," Mueller added, "the ability to prosecute is difficult to build the cases, we can't just go on someone for being a prostitute, it's not illegal to be a prostitute."

This investigation comes days after a FOX 2 report about prostitution in south St. Louis. A woman discovered two people having public sex in her Carondelet alley.

She took pictures to post to Facebook. The man and woman were just a few feet away from her garage.

Scott Fowler who is also a South City resident said that often times, he too witnessed lewd acts happening in his own back yard.

"We know the police are shorthanded, we know it costs money to do that, but something has to be done," he said.

Fowler said that he and several other residents in his community are banding together in an effort to help get rid of the rampant problem for good.

"They (neighbors) run the johns out of here," Fowler explained, "if they see them, they follow them around the neighborhood, they make sure they cannot find a place to park. They do not allow them to pick up a girl."

The six women arrested Monday, were issued city summonses for "Prostitution".

An investigation is ongoing.