COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Some prostitution in the Pikes Peak region might as well be legal, based on information Target 13 Investigates gathered.
Metro Vice & Narcotics told us they are not cracking down on prostitutes who work behind closed doors, unless there's a complaint.
"We're unfortunately beyond the days where we had the resources to be proactive with that and kind of do what you did, but as police officers and catch them in the act," said Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Steve Noblitt, referring to the Target 13 Investigates hidden camera investigation showing sex for money still thriving in the Pikes Peak region.
He said it was a budget issue and the decision was made 2 years ago to eliminate the Prostitution Task Force.
Combine the lack of enforcement with the $50 fine most prostitutes get and we found the door's wide open for them to work the region without much fear. Those who do get busted are almost always working the streets. However, those working in businesses, or online and meeting "Johns" at different locations are in the clear, unless a complaint is filed with authorities.
4th Judicial District District Attorney Dan May told us the small fine most prostitutes get does create a problem.
"It makes it very difficult for us to handle at a local level of closing down places," he said.
Prostitution in Colorado is a class 3 misdemeanor, one step above petty offense.
"If we could see increased penalties it would be easier for us to go in and shut them down on a local basis," said May.
In our research, we found Colorado's $50 minimum fine appears to be one of the weakest in the country for prostitutes. However, "pimping" is a felony in Colorado.
"But you have to get the evidence of pimping and again if it's a closed organization, a lot of times the person's willing to take the charge of prostitution and won't tell you who they're sharing the money with so we can get on with the pimping charge," May said, "and all we get is a $50 fine, which makes it hard to control."