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Blog Prostitution Stings on the Rise (FAKE AD ATTACHED!)

Posted by John Tymczyszyn | Dec 21, 2014 | 65 Comments

This year police in many Cities around the Seattle area have conducted "solicitation of prostitution" or "Patronizing a Prostitute" stings. Cities like: Kent, Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle have been conducting these "John Operations."

In the City of Kent police recently conducted a sting operation that concluded in the arrest of 26 men. The men were mainly from King County and ranged from 21 - 60 years of age. Kent police placed a fake ad in the escort section of


Ads like this one have been recently used by Kent Police, Federal Way and Seattle Police: 

Undercover female officers posed as prostitutes and answered the phone to entice "John's" to come to the motel. The City of Kent claims they are clamping down on "human trafficking."  It should be noted however that fees against the "johns," brought in $46,500 to the city. Although the City of Kent asserts that they are combating "human trafficking," it does seem to be a profitable venture for the City.

The sting is part of a larger effort by the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and several police departments to focus on arresting the customers of prostitutes, the "John's".  These practices are likely to continue by police departments all around King County and men charged with "patronizing a prostitute" are likely to face stiff penalties as well as possible jail time.

I have listed the RCW for Patronizing a Prostitute below:

RCW 9A.88.110 Patronizing a prostitute.

(1) A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if:

(a) Pursuant to a prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or

(b) He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or

(c) He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him or her in return for a fee.

(2) For purposes of this section, "sexual conduct" has the meaning given in RCW 9A.88.030.

(3) Patronizing a prostitute is a misdemeanor.

REMEMBER: The prosecutor has to prove that a transaction or agreement took place.  If they cannot prove this the case must be dismissed!


If you have been charged in the Kent Municipal Court or anywhere in King County, Washington with patronizing a prostitute then you should read this article.

You can learn more by visiting our PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE WEBPAGE or by calling John T Law at (425) 533-2156 for a free consultation.

About the Author

John Tymczyszyn

Attorney John T. is a third generation Washingtonian, Navy Veteran and criminal defense attorney.


rick lecter Reply

Posted Apr 13, 2015 at 10:42:57

hey can police arrest you if you call a girl to come to your house? not that I want to hire anyone

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Apr 13, 2015 at 10:46:00

That would depend on the situation and if there are text messages and communications between you that offer money in exchange for sexual acts.

thad Reply

Posted Jul 19, 2015 at 22:57:35

so they can arrest you just for sending texts offering $ for services? that seems a reach.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Jul 20, 2015 at 20:13:56


In Washington State the patronizing a prostitute law states that:

“He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her”

That means that if you make an agreement to exchange money for sex then you may be charged with “patronizing a prostitute.” It does not matter if the agreement was verbal or via text message. If an agreement was reached then police may arrest you.

That does not necessarily mean there is enough evidence to find you guilty, but police may have “probable cause” to make an arrest.

shelia Reply

Posted Aug 06, 2015 at 09:32:07

So what your saying is if you quote a price for sex its a case but can u do toppless massages what is the law on that

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Aug 08, 2015 at 11:58:00


Taking off your clothes in exchange for money is going to get you in trouble. Although, you probably cannot be charged with prostitution you are likely to be breaking a number of laws. You could be charged with “indecent exposure,” lose your massage license (if you have one) or have what you are doing confused for prostitution by police.

It is unlikely that giving a “topless massage” in exchange for money is legal, and I would assume that it is only a matter of time before you get in legal trouble for this.

Amor Reply

Posted Sep 17, 2015 at 16:02:22

I dont know whats the big deal with this i think everyone has the right to do whatever they want with theyr body i mean as long u dont cause any damage to anyone u have the right to choose whatever u think is good for urself ….police in set of waste time doing this it should be doing something that really helps and worth the paycheck prostitution is a endless war just like drugs no matter if u take down100 tomorrow they will have to.go a catch 1000.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Sep 18, 2015 at 21:25:21

Amor -

Many people agree with you. This includes amnesty international.

[email protected] Reply

Posted Oct 06, 2015 at 11:02:58

Is it illegal when meeting up an individual through backpage of an ad To domination or fetishes, or that excludes the cata of sexual encounter>?

Coffee Guy Reply

Posted Oct 23, 2015 at 19:55:28

I have a question regarding all this. You see a lot of ads that attempt a loophole via a disclaimer saying that solicitation is a crime and that one shall not offer money for sex. Then it will go on to say that donations are for time and companionship only. Does this actually manage to bypass anything?

Like, if a person had sex with an escort, and then afterwards said something like, “By the way you seem like a nice person. I want you to have this money so you can put it toward something good in your life.” It would be obvious in court what you were trying to do, but would you be let go on some technicality?

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Oct 24, 2015 at 13:24:45

The disclaimer is not legally effective, especially if an agreement for sex occurs. Keep in mind that your case may be before a jury. A prosecutor could potentially charge you with patronizing a prostitute and a jury would decide on the matter of guilt or innocence. There is also another charge called “prostitution loitering.” In many cases when the prosecution cannot prove that a transaction has occurred they can potentially charge you with the lesser crime of “prostitution loitering.” This is a lesser crime of just basically hanging out in an area for the purposes of talking to prostitutes. It is a very vague crime and it is a favorite charge of prosecutors that cannot prove the elements of actually “patronizing a prostitute.”

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Oct 24, 2015 at 13:26:40

If there is an agreement where there is an exchange of sex for money then it is against the law. This would depend on if the fetish involves sex. penetration = sex……….period.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Oct 24, 2015 at 13:29:04


Many people share your view, including Amnesty International which is the worlds largest human rights group.

Sam Reply

Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 20:17:41

I never thought dating from is a Crime , but I knew after I been in this country 9 years it is a crime which is PATRONIZING A PROSTITUED I never involving any crime , but traffic ticket. How could this is a Crime I don’t yet specific answer. Bcz to in America to buy a Gan is free, and it is free the same sex merge. How can’t be free to buy for PROSTITUED to date her, and what else u can give for PROSTITUED, she is already PROSTITUED I can’t believe this is a Crime my life is basted a a rein by this bcz the police got me and they keep it on my background check since then I can’t get a job and apartment. My life are in trouble bcz of I planed to date a girl which is adult not teenager from

michael Reply

Posted Dec 13, 2015 at 13:09:03

Oh thats great…so now law enforcement can arrest you for simply being in a general area where prostitutes are…even if you have no intention of soliciting a prostitute, you are saying its enough probable cause to arrest you. This is ridiculous.

Mohammed Reply

Posted Dec 13, 2015 at 19:04:23

Before the low inforcment arrest who ever involve to have a fun or date a girl from They should make sure to close or band the websait. Other wise they will mess up for those who have clear background check history, specially for non American or those who we live in US as migrant

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Feb 19, 2016 at 20:33:59

If you are soliciting them for a massage it is legal. If you solicit them for sex than it is not legal.

Mcthrash Killingham Reply

Posted Mar 22, 2016 at 09:45:22

Why isn’t there outrage and tax payer unrest that is rallying against these types of sting operations ? These are misdemeanor offenses that the counties are spending quite a few dollars to put an end to .When. There are drugs and weapons around every single corner ..gangs and gang violence , robberies , rapes , and 100 other more serious crimes that are punishable with a prison sentence and not less than a year in jail and a 1000 fine.. how many man hours and funding and how much cost is associated with stopping petty criminals from buying some sexual activity from someone who does that type of work for and is above the legal age of consent ? Waste of time waste of tax payers money and not a very good use of police resources .. designed to fill up the county jail and assure funding stays in place or increases every single year . This is all this is about .

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Mar 22, 2016 at 14:11:20

Mr. Killingham,

You are correct and your logic is spot on!

Carmen Reply

Posted Mar 25, 2016 at 11:53:06

Well I’d like to say that when gets shut down there will more sites that will grow and then word will spread and business will be back at it’s classness again I swear only AROUND election Year do All these unit’s try and acure funding for these stupid departments who obviously are uneducated Or lazy about doing what they get paid for But in the end Washington is a police state .Nothing fabulous about it no Oil lol Keep up the entrapment and trying to make an example out of NOTHING the show must go on time to hit the ROAD.

Fabian Reply

Posted Mar 27, 2016 at 15:45:35

Outlawing a petty issue such as patronizing a prostitute, which for the most part do it for a living, just makes for people who would take advantage of the prostitution black market, just like alcohol and marijuana did before they became legal. In many countries prostitution is legal, and a reason for women to make their money the way they want, and the way they enjoy their bodies or their freedom. In parts of Nevada it’s legal without causing any problem, eliminating pimps, violence, and STDs, let alone a lot of crimes are because of sexual frustrations of young men who normally can not start dating women for a variety of reasons. Legalizing it would eliminate pimps, violent crimes over sex, and STDs because then there would be laws to control them. It all seems like a false sense of " we are the best and most ethical people", whereas things much worse than this such as guns that cause countless murders, drinking problems, and countless other serious crimes, let alone homosexuality are legal. It all seems like a loophole for the police to label people and create a criminal record for almost everyone so they would have something against everyone…just in case; and also make extra money by putting people in jail, and issuing them fines. Are our politicians the saints they claim with no black spots on their dossiers? Are the police officers as innocent as they want people to believe? Haven’t we heard of pervert cops, cheating, lying, and even raping women?
With increasing unchecked police violence and violating basic constitutional rights, false arrests, etc., who is going to police the police?

Joe Reply

Posted Mar 28, 2016 at 12:03:23

Is it illegal to ask an escort for her services and talk price just to take nude pictures of her?

worker Reply

Posted Mar 31, 2016 at 10:04:42

these laws are unconstitutional!

Mr Poster Reply

Posted May 17, 2016 at 16:50:26

What if you live in NY and you text (ONLY TEXT) escorts in other states more as a prank to see how far you can take it? no intention of really meeting, can you get in trouble just for texting them?

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted May 17, 2016 at 18:33:13

No, probably not. Although, if you are harassing someone then that may be a crime.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted May 17, 2016 at 18:34:42

taking nude pictures is not a sexual act. So I do not think you would be breaking the law if you made it clear that was the purpose of you paying her.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted May 17, 2016 at 18:36:45

Who is going to police the police? The answer is generally no one. I agree to a lot of your points here.

Jeff Reply

Posted May 26, 2016 at 14:18:09

If I text an escort and asking how much money is it for 30 minutes of your TIME and she responds with a whole list of services that she’s willing to offer, should I end the conversation right there? Otherwise it looks like I have implicitly agreed to exchange money for services right? I don’t want to get trapped in a sting, and I can’t seem to be 100% sure which Backpage ads are real and which ones might be the damn cops.

Floyd martin Reply

Posted May 27, 2016 at 21:16:37

Let’s get real what’s the difference if you go on a date spend money for dinner drinks and so on then go home and have sex and the woman who just rather skip all that have sex and give her the money you would spend

Yonas tewelde Reply

Posted Jun 17, 2016 at 10:45:06

I really don’t understand what are they doing this Police. After they got me by doing setting or intrapment in backpage.Com now they ended up my back ground record Patronizing prostituted. Now I can’t get apparently,and job. How come they do that "criminal " if u want to to date a gire from backpage.Com,and if she is consenting. Of course u have to pay her,because she is a prostitute and that is why she post her picture on the page. But how do u know her she is a police or feak add.that are doing setting or intrapment for some one freedom. ""As my understanding and how I grow up it’s a CRIME to force or abuse,rape,to a woman no matter what age.but if u walk to a prostituted,I don’t so,and on a top of it sting or entrapment was doing a police. Now I ended up my life in USA no place to live no work or job to sarvaiv. Just by opening backpage and get a woman for 15 minute and go.This is rediculo. But police there is other job to do in the city of seattle.

Yonas tewelde Reply

Posted Jun 17, 2016 at 15:03:20

Hello guys, what is a problem or bad thing. To open backpage.Com. if u want a date by not going to night club and if u don’t want to spend too much time to get a woman Wichita is consenting there is backpage.Com a prostituted website.that is how I understand when u used to open the website. But now I got entrapment or sting operation. That is in Kent,but that is what I don’t understand, since I don’t abuse,rape,hursmet,or using a force to any woman it dosnt matter what age, HOW COME I AM A CRIMINAL? by paying for a sex which she is a prostitute and already she post her pictures on the website includein her service because u agree to pay her u are a criminal in fact that is sting operation or entrapment. That is what happen to me now they put it on my background cheack Patronizing a prostituted, and because of that now I cant get apartment and job.I knew it is a crime if u abuse,rape,use a forc,or hursmet to any woman it don’t matter age.but for a prostituted from the Websit backpage.Com I never thought that is a crime. So guys what can u help me I’m going crazy since this hapen last year I can’t control my self all my thought bcz they put in my name in the criminal history record. I wish if I die now.

whatever Reply

Posted Jun 23, 2016 at 20:16:02

So, if someone were to ask to see a massage therapist nude to provide “credentials”, it would still be illegal and someone could be arrested? How else to trust a practitioner?

Shame Reply

Posted Aug 15, 2016 at 22:43:27

I am to the point if your selling yourself on backpage for any reason it should be treated like a big dark bold letters ( FELONY). Think how many people those girls are sexual with! Disease after Disease! Death’s one on top of the other. The girls are labeled prostitution! Give them a life hard punishment. Stop spreading wealth on prostitution! A mister meanner. That’s funny ok so what! It’s ok to be a fraud to everyone in the world. It’s ok to be paid good doing what? Prostitution!
These girls on backpage get cash money! No taxes! We bust ourselfs at our jobs! Hmmm that sounds nice to me. Plus they get say food stamps. Yeah more money! No income all cash money! No taxes! Do it for year’s. These girl’s probably would make , I wold say about 20,000 a month? It’s up there cash money.
Charge prostitution as a felony!
It’s against the law. Yes I see alot of people’s points in these comments. But really people prostitution is a good way to get crime down, also save so many lifes from diseases, somany reasons! Help the government smh fraud!
I know if I was a prostitute I would spend maybe years in jail or maybe even prison, it would be no slap on the hand.
I wouldn’t want to be a prostitute ever!

bill burr Reply

Posted Aug 19, 2016 at 22:31:16

if all you say is what time are you available, go to the hotel, don’t say anything, not a word and have sex is that a crime?
what about if you gave someone money for 10 minutes of their time, after 10 minutes left and came back and had sex, would that be a crime? thanks

Jon Reply

Posted Sep 18, 2016 at 20:05:35

From a recent bust in Bellevue, it seems like now writing fictional story on any of those review websites can now be used as primary evidence for promoting prostitution in the second degree, is that true?

Wrench Reply

Posted Sep 24, 2016 at 18:01:42

Pretty sad that it’s 2016 and this stuff isn’t legal. You’d think consenting adults would be allowed to do as they please with their bodies and money. I’m not in to this call girl stuff, but it’s still just ridiculous that people are being thrown in jail for this. Unreal.

Valarie Reply

Posted Oct 13, 2016 at 06:18:02

I am in this business for real. Donations are for time not services although your needs and requests will be satisfied. I am independent an never had an issue with a client. There’s never any anal or bareback. What I receive from a client is merely a tip/donation for the time we spent together. I don’t care if we sit and look at a tree for an hour the donation is for my time. We can go out to eat and have a few drinks….who knows we might get frisky if that’s what 2 adults choose to do. But there should never be force or violence and a female should never lead the client on nor rob or mace/taser unless it is absolutely necessary because the client became irate/violent. A woman who chooses to give a man her money after wards us her choice. I don’t believe that a grown woman can’t taze/mace a pimp but she will a client. Now 21 and under I do see it as escorting should be illegal. And children do get subjected to the horrors this profession holds. Now if we had more readily jobs available for these devil pimps maybe they wouldn’t prey on our youth as much. But if they are already into pimping and such they probably have other legalities preventing them from getting a real job. I am 100% for escorting, time, company and having a good time. That’s what it was originally intended for. Yet our society has taken it out if context like every thing else in the law. If u are calling a girl never ask directly for a service and have some respect. Atleast u didn’t have to go to a bar, potentially get seen by ur girlfriends friends cuz u were trying to get some Nana all night wasting money on drinks all night with the POSSIBILITY u might get laid. Have the same amount of respect for her as u would some random girl in a bar. At least u both have the same understanding of the context in which the time should be spent for ur donations.

Valarie Reply

Posted Oct 13, 2016 at 06:29:27

95% of women get married for financial security and what is she subjected to do everyday? Sexually please her man…95% of these women don’t want to be with them! Technically that’s contract prostitution. But because they lie, manipulate and pretend to love a man for money its seen as OK. Bullshit. I’m married have been for 9 years and he has yet to take care of me and my child. U have no idea why we are in this profession and its not ur business to judge. Because honestly u probably have went to the bar and ran a train on a girl that was unconscious from alcohol, joked about it and made fun if her later….but 3-5 other men just entered her and she didn’t even have a say. So the action is the same but the intentions are different. I don’t have sex with all my clients. And some if them truly like just going out to eat and hanging out and by the time I try to do anything they bust after I put condom in and I didn’t even have to do anything with them. Grow up. This us the oldest occupation in the world. With the law its all a word game.

jukie Reply

Posted Nov 19, 2016 at 07:55:50

The Bible say’s"it’s better to put your seed into the belly of a whore than to spill it on the ground"!!!

Kbone Reply

Posted Dec 12, 2016 at 01:44:17

Good Prostitutes will practice safe sex more often cuz they do it for a living, wont let you do things like blow a load in their mouth. They always use condoms and dont kiss, meanwhile college girls who are gettin sloppy drunk every weekend dont even remember how many guys came in them…. probably more likely to get an sti

J Ray Reply

Posted Dec 16, 2016 at 07:38:43

so if i texted a few girls just to know if she is real or not, is that a crime? also if i never acted on it because the rates are more than $100, still liable?

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Dec 16, 2016 at 08:50:30

If you agree to pay them money for sex it is a crime.

Eddie Reply

Posted Dec 17, 2016 at 18:57:33

How is it that cops can arrest some one for soliciting a women for sexual acts ? But I seen cops go up to prostitutes and try and pick them up and once they agree on a price the girl go’s to jail. Now if a cop women posted as a prostitute and a man asked her for a sexual act and agree to pay then the man go’s to jail . But in both cases the cop a rested someone for what they did also

J Ray Reply

Posted Dec 19, 2016 at 21:33:01

How about those escort services in seattle with the websites? Very expensive but is that illegal as well?

John Reply

Posted Dec 31, 2016 at 07:44:31

If there is no discussion of sex acts can the police get naked before receiving the money? If I state that we will need to get naked before money changes hands will this stop the police from meeting me?

Nick Sauce Reply

Posted Jan 04, 2017 at 12:20:53

How would they be able to get in without a warrant, this is probably the safest way, not that I hire anyone

Kyle Reply

Posted Jan 13, 2017 at 00:38:18

I am constantly reading about heterosexual prostitution busts in Seattle. I never read about any busts for homosexual prostitution. I hang out occasionally in Capitol Hill nightclubs and the trade is very open. Why do you suppose that Mayor Ed Murray doesn’t direct law enforcement to crack down on that scene? Are you aware of any homosexual sting operations in the last year or two?

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Jan 13, 2017 at 14:43:47

No, they do not do any homosexual busts to my knowledge.

David Reply

Posted Jan 20, 2017 at 08:20:02

@John M. Tymczyszn, I just had some questions, if a escort have a disclaimer in her had not promising sex but time and companionship. Would it be ok for me to make an appointment with her without getting into legal trouble? I have another question, if I text a escort and only set up an appointment without mentioning anything explicit, could I still get arrested if just show up at the apartment/hotel?

DJ Reply

Posted Feb 11, 2017 at 21:23:36

Okay. So there was an ad with a woman that said to text. I text. She sent a link to her site. On the site it explained the menu – how to go about payment. I needed to text her back and send me a link to a webcast. The webcast said that if I watched her nude – it showed I wasn’t law enforcement and cops cannot solicite anything in the nude which would prove that she wasn’t law enforcement. Ever heard of this??

Nate Reply

Posted Feb 25, 2017 at 16:23:44

John, you said “If you are soliciting them for a massage it is legal. If you solicit them for sex than it is not legal.”
So what if one were to meet with someone for a massage ( a paid serivce) not mentioning sexual acts and in the process of the massage one gets laid. Is that just getting lucky? Or would it illegal?

Bob Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2017 at 07:52:44

If you ask if they are affiliated in anyway with law enforcement does that change anything?

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2017 at 10:54:10

It could make a difference in what a jury would think about the issue of entrapment! But it does not automatically get the case dismissed.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2017 at 10:56:19

Hello Nate,

That depends on the circumstances. If the sex happens at the massage studio then that would be bad. If you pay for a massage and then ask her out for dinner and have sex at a different location that may be ok.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2017 at 10:58:10

Paying someone for a webcast is not sex. It sounds like paying for porn. So I do not think this is illegal.

John Tymczyszyn Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2017 at 10:59:33

That depends on the contents of the test message. However, if you meet someone at a coffee shop then it is obvious that the meeting is not for sex. If you meet someone at a hotel then it may appear to be prostitution.

Thomas Reply

Posted Mar 12, 2017 at 23:22:11

Hey Valerie, where are you located? I like your post😉

Eliesha Sebra Reply

Posted Mar 27, 2017 at 12:47:23

😊 Law is 🎤 donation is for modeling companionship. I’ve talked to 3 Cops,& 2 Lawyers. In WA & OR. & this is what they said law is. 🎤 DO NOT LISTEN 👂 TO ANYONE BUT LAWYER & ME. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING BUT donation is for modeling companionship.All these other people up here don’t know wtf they are talking about.Do you want Government law is fact. Or some hoopla public opinion ? I am a legal Model & companion my facts on law is from Lawyers i paid & Law Enforcement. Easy as 1,2,3. 😊

Eiesha Sebra Reply

Posted Mar 27, 2017 at 12:48:53


Unknown Reply

Posted Apr 01, 2017 at 20:36:09

U are so right! How can this stupid law be cast out? And u know prostitution is the OLDEST profession, that, and farming and they both use hoes!! Lol but it’s true!
Cops chase these “crimes” cuz they know it’s easy and won’t get hurt cuz they’re catching ppl with their pants down! So the cops get a thrill and not get hirt, to them it’s a win win project. North Dakota spent over 6 million dollars and there prostitution project and in 6 months still haven’t caught any underage girls! Money well spent North Dakota, NOT!!! 🙄 But they don’t care cuz it’s the tax payers money

Pierre Reply

Posted Apr 08, 2017 at 12:52:05

The Seattle Times article on Mayor Murray is a bombshell.

Is there a statue of limitations on these allegations?

The recent heterosexual sting operations in King County have taken aim at consenting adults. The allegations here with a minor are really disturbing and so I assume that means by definition non-consenting?

How do you think this affect his re-election chances?

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