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20 Men Busted In Prostitution Sting In Santa Barbara County

Twenty men have been busted in a prostitution sting at a hotel on the South Coast.

The arrests came following a reverse “John” sting operation on Thursday and Friday conducted by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives and Santa Barbara Police officers at a Goleta hotel.

Authorities say it involved placing an ad on backpage.com, a website known for prostitution ads. The advertisement stated that a female would engage in sexual acts in exchange for money. A female undercover detective then negotiated with the interested person or “John” a sexual act for an amount of money. When the “John” arrived at the hotel, he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution.

Twenty men – ranging from 20 to 66-years old – were arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Officials say the number of online prostitution-related ads has grown significantly over the years in Santa Barbara County. Many women who engage in prostitution are victims of abuse and human trafficking. The goal of the sting is to reduce the demand for prostitution.