Dear Johns: St. Louis police nab 9 for patronizing prostitution

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The names and faces of nine men, charged with patronizing prostitutes, are being broadcast by St. Louis police on social media.  It’s part of a new tactic to curb prostitution in south St. Louis.

The idea behind this strategy, which FOX 2 first reported in mid-April, before it began, is that there wouldn’t be a prostitution problem, if there weren’t customers to keep them in business.  That’s why police are targeting the johns, and residents like Linda Stegall hope it will work.

In the five years that Stegall has lived on South Broadway, right near South St. Louis Square Park, she’s seen more prostitutes than she cares to count.  “Every day you could sit in front of my house and see every bit of 50 to 100 working women.”

And Stegall says they often bring trouble: “Looking in my front door, hollering obscenities, messing with our vehicles, hanging out, you can see hookers getting picked up by johns, etc. etc.”

In this undercover operation, police are targeting johns on South Broadway between Bates and Loughborough.  This narrow focus has led to nine arrests in just two days. Three of those were in the same spot, on the 7600 block of South Broadway.  Other suspected johns were arrested on Bellerive, Montana, and Steins.

Residents say South St. Louis Square Park is one of the biggest problem areas.  FOX 2 spoke with a mother of four who enjoys bringing her children there, but knows to watch them closely.  “It’s kind of disgusting, to be honest,” she says, “If that’s what they choose, that’s what they choose, but I’d prefer they do it elsewhere and not in a public park where children are.”

Hopefully, that park will soon be safer, since police say these nine arrests are just the beginning.  “I think it’s great, they need to get it out of here,” says Stegall.

Publicizing these mug shots is just the beginning. The suspected johns will receive a reminder card, which tells them when and where they were caught, and cautions them about STD’s.  The card also gives them a court date.  Convicted patrons then face a $500 fine, and/or prison time.



    • Katie

      That’s exactly why they SHOULD do it. It they have their mugshots posted on social media, then maybe they’ll think twice next time. Probably not, though.

      • jmverville

        And I think that comes from some idea that the prostitutes are the perpetual victims of some perceived… ‘cycle’ of criminality. And that they are the ‘weakest’ and most ‘vulnerable’ in the whole thing.– when they are the ones that are choosing this path and maintaining drug dependencies. I disagree with this assessment of them as victims as opposed to willful criminals as well.

  • Linda Fiedler

    This does not belong on the news. You ruin peoples life by putting this out there for idiots to make rude cruel comments about someone they don’t know. What good does it do, its not going to solve the problem. Crime isn’t funny but why advertise it. Its no wonder St. Louis comes across as a lousy place to live and visit.

  • 1082

    The city police should arrest themselves. They always picking up hookers on south broadway

  • Doris

    Disappointed that I didn’t have to get far into the list till i saw someone that I know.

  • Sofa King Milfin

    Look at the guys….hell hookers are doing them a favor. Its like people winning prizes for fixing up their houses. In this case the hookers deserve a medal.

  • Don

    My objection to them posting the pictures is that these men have been arrested and charged – not convicted. They are most likely guilty but until proven guilty their pictures should not be posted.

    • Joe Bob

      The media portrays everyone as guilty. That is why some do not get a fair trial because people in this country no longer think for themselves. They let the media outlets think for them. People spend their pointless lives playing little smart phone feeling so important to themselves.

      Media says they are guilty. They must have been convicted already. Lets go ahead and destroy the rest of their lives and that of their families. Media would probably put pictures of them up there too if they had them.

    • ByeByeToTheRite

      You’re SO correct, K. These guys will probably get harsher punishment for this than that wealthy turd heir to the DuPont estate, who RAPED HIS INFANT DAUGHTER yet gets no jail time – it would be “bad for him”, according to the corrupt judge. Just some more fine justice, American style.

  • b

    Yea innocent untill provin guilty must not apple here. And good idea, post the skanks that get busted so maybe all this FREE ADVERTISING WILL PAY OFF FOR THE WHORES!!!

  • carolyn

    They had an article in the paper last week about prostitutes walking the streets on South Grand, The article said that they were going to send a postcard to the John, reminding him of his court date. I’m not sure I like this, because it embarrasses the entire family. They embarrass the john, and they stay away, then the prostitutes will go elsewhere/

  • Greg

    All this does if hurt all the families involved. This newspaper should be sued over this article. The tactics the police use in posting those photos is questionable legally but the newspaper article is definitely actionable in a civil courts. Go get em boys!

  • Laura Simpson

    I personally know one of the men that got arrested that was posted wrongly this evening. My friend said that he was going down Broadway to go car shopping because his car was failing. He said he pulled over on South Broadway in Bates to get out and go look at a car at a car lot. He said next thing you know it a woman came up to him and start ask him questions and he told her to get away. Next thing you know the police had em surrounded and he waswrongly arrested for something that he didn’t even do he said he couldn’t even talk to the police officer and his defense he said he was going to get tazed. And then on top of it they’re posting photos of men who haven’t even went to court on the 3rd defense. That’s wrong and very unethical.

  • dbhbk1

    Prostitution is the one of the oldest professions in the world. It will survive this attempt to get rid of it, like it has on many other occasions.

  • al

    Seems like more serious crime out there than this. Like Obama, the tactic is getting everyones mind off that St. Louis is the murder capital of the world. Might be in 3 rd place now. Top 5 anyway.

  • Michelle Colvin

    One of those guys was an ex-boyfriend, who is now stalking me and when this aired I see he’s got a different last name than what he told me it was. I cant seem to get any peace of mind, especially now after seeing his face on t.v. I know that something wasn’t quite right with this dude!!!!

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