Child Prostitutes Rescued in Seattle

Nov 9, 2010

Does Seattle have more child prostitutes than other cities? During a three-day crackdown, the FBI picked up more young prostitutes in this area than anyplace else. But, there could be another reason for the high number.

The latest FBI sweep, called Operation Cross Country V, resulted in the arrest of 99 pimps. Agents also rescued 69 teenage prostitutes. Twenty-three of them were from our area, in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, for the last three years Seattle has led the nation in the number of juvenile victims that have been recovered," said Steven Dean, an FBI spokesman.

But, he says it doesn't necessarily mean the problem is worse here. Dean points out there are dozens of task forces around the country participating in the sweeps and it could be that law enforcement here just puts more of an effort into it. 

"We're hitting it pretty hard here and so the more you look the more you find," he said.

Dean said all of the juvenile prostitutes have either been returned to their families or put in protective custody. The youngest was 13.