It often called the world's oldest profession and it might be the world's oldest crime. Police are constantly chasing hookers from one corner to the next, but because prostitution is just a misdemeanor, and with jails bulging at the seams, most of the time they are reed to a revolving door that sends prostitutes back to work just days after their arrest.
Prostitution is a crime police have been fighting almost since the invention of the gun and the badge, arrests even young officers believe they'll make their entire career. Officer Lee's fourth district beat is in old Louisville, and prostitution busts are just part of his daily routine.
Lee says experience, both on patrol and with repeat offenders, makes hookers on the streets stand out. He says it's "not really the way that they dress, but the way that they look, the way that they present themselves, because most of them are run down -- dirty -- for lack of a better word.
Believe it or not, lunch time is prime time for prostitutes working the street. And despite the freezing temperatures Wednesday night, we found one lady strolling downtown.
We'll call her Jane Doe. Jane is 19 years old. She said she's an exotic dancer who doesn t like the word prostitute. But she's had some scary experiences with anonymous men.
I told him I wasn't doing nothing; some things happened and I got hit with a gun in my face. Jane says she can walk away any time she wants. I'm not caught up.
Police say about 25 percent of the people they lock up for prostitution are men with male clientele. While prostitution is only a misdemeanor offense, there is one exception: anytime a person who knows they have HIV or AIDS continues to work as a prostitute, they can be charged with a felony, punishable by one to five years in the penitentiary.
Online Reporter: James Zambroski. Online Producer: Michael Dever.
By James Zambroski.