Maui Police said 10 men have been arrested as part of a prostitution sting set up days before Valentine’s Day targeting johns.
The Vice Gambling and Morals Unit, and Lahaina patrol officers set up a “reverse prostitution operation” in which female police officers posed as potential prostitutes.
During the two-and-a-half day operation, police arrested 10 men and recovered $38,110.
The men were arrested for investigation of solicitation of prostitution near schools or public parks. Eight of the men posted $200 bail and two were released pending an investigation. One of the men was arrested for an additional drug charge, while another was also booked on suspicion of multiple drug and firearms charges.
Police said victims of prostitution rings are often forced into the work — with sex trafficking defined as “a modern-day form of slavery” — through psychological or physical coercion as well as the threat of serious, physical harm or restraints. Many victims are young and impressionable.