Prostitution arrests begin with trip to the Internet

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The world's oldest profession has found its way into some of the world's newest technology to reach its clients.

Myrtle Beach Police arrested 43-year-old Dianah Carol Woods, charging her with prostitution. Police said she posted an ad for sex on the website Backpage. Undercover officers arrested Woods in the Market Common. In February, three other women were arrested in the Market Common after police said they posted ads on Backpage.

"There's a percentage of these young people who are preyed upon," said Community Advocate Betty Houbion.

Betty works with at-risk men, women, and children, prostitutes and human trafficking victims. She says in situations like these, often times the suspects arrested are not working alone, but they may be coerced into doing the job.

"It's hard to believe anyone could be forced into doing these sort of things," she said. "But the truth is they are."

Prostitution arrests and cases involving the sex trade or human trafficking are not necessarily related, but Betty says one could point the other. But the good news, she says, is that police are becoming more aware these crimes.

"Police are becoming more aware, more knowledgeable," Betty said. "As they do, we'll see less and less of these as we go on."

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