published Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Prostitution sting lures woman straight to police

SALEM, Ore. — Authorities say a 20-year-old Portland woman drove 50 miles to reach the man she thought was her client after being solicited for prostitution through phone and text messages.

But there was something unusual about the destination: It was the Salem Police Department.

Stranger still, police say the woman walked past several uniformed officers and clearly marked signs reading “Salem Police Department” before arriving at an unmarked door, where they say she attempted to contact the man she thought was her client.

Instead, she was arrested. The phone and text messages were part of a sting operation by Salem police detectives, who first identified the woman through a website.

The Jan. 11 arrest led to charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution for Christal D. Smith of Portland.

An attorney for Smith couldn’t be found Thursday afternoon.

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