NYPD: 17 men arrested, charged for trying to purchase sex
A recent NYPD crackdown on a block in Brooklyn has put 17 men behind bars for trying to purchase sex.
The intersection of Wortman and Alabama avenues, is home to warehouses, bus drivers and sex workers.
This past weekend, 17 men between the ages of 20 and 59 were arrested on that block and charged with patronizing prostitution.
Councilmember Charles Barron's office says the sex work business on this street has been negatively impacting the overall wellness of the community.
"This has gone on for far too long, and we're glad the community… did not become desensitized to the experiences of seeing these women who could be their aunts, nieces, daughters, out here in these streets,” said deputy chief of staff for Councilmember Barron’s office Keron Alleyne.
Despite growing concerns, advocacy groups have pushed to decriminalize sex work while offering support to sex workers who may be victims of human trafficking.
"What's really scary is that any laws criminalizing sex work make it harder for folks who are being exploited and trafficked to come forward,” said Ariela Moscowitz, director of communications for Decriminalize Sex Work. There's evidence that shows that any laws that are repressive towards sex work really further push the industry underground."
In New York state, prostitution is punishable by up to three months in jail, while patronizing is punishable by up to one year in jail.