Edmonton

Grande Prairie RCMP charge 19 men with obtaining sexual services

The men, aged 23 to 69, were arrested last week during a three-day operation, according to a news release from RCMP.

Community concerned about solicitation of sex in downtown Grande Prairie, RCMP say

Grande Prairie RCMP charged 19 men with obtaining sexual services during a three-day operation last week. (CBC)

Grande Prairie RCMP have charged 19 men with obtaining sexual services for consideration.

The men, aged 23 to 69, were arrested last week during a three-day operation, according to a news release from RCMP.

The goal was to address community concerns about "sex activities" in downtown Grande Prairie, police said.

"Workers in the sex trade industry represent a vulnerable sector of society," Supt. Don McKenna said in the release. "Many sex workers suffer from addiction, mental health issues, and were victimized prior to entering the sex trade and are exploited."

He said Grande Prairie RCMP hope to protect sex workers by continuing to work with the Pace Sexual Assault Centre, which offers a "prostitution awareness program" to first-time offenders.

Four of the men face additional charges, including:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of cocaine and methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a prohibited weapon
  • Failure to comply
  • Assaulting a police officer
  • Resisting arrest

In November of last year, a similar operation nabbed 35 people.

now