Rapid City police tackle prostitution cases

RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - The mayor of Sioux Falls is adding more police officers to tackle prostitution, and in Rapid City police are conducting more sex sting operations, especially to combat online prostitution.

In a single sex sting operation, Rapid City police can end up arresting three to 10 people.

In the last five years, the department has investigated more than 60 sex trafficking cases.

Criminal Investigations Sergeant Kelvin Masur says this includes men who hire prostitutes and women who advertise themselves, especially in phony massage parlors.

Masur says staying up to date on the trends is the department's main priority. He says ten years ago the main form of prostitution was on the street in the downtown area. Now, it's moved to online.

Therefore, the department conducts more operations involving fake ads posted on websites to lure criminals.

"There have been measures put in place that have prevented some of this stuff in the past. But whenever something comes up to try to prevent it something new always pops back up and gives them another avenue to promote it," Rapid City Criminal Investigations Division Sgt. Kelvin Masur said.

Masur says the federal government has shut down some known websites that promote prostitution. But he says the main problem is the international websites that cannot be regulated.