SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Five women have been charged with prostitution in Saratoga County, as part of a nationwide search for child "sex trafficking," District Attorney James Murphy says.
Murphy says fortunately no cases of child prostitution were found in Saratoga County as part of "Operation Cross Country," an effort to identify and interdict cases involving the use of children or minors in prostitution rings. Across the U.S., nearly 105 children were rescued from sex trafficking in 76 cities.
Once it was determined that there were no children involved in the county, the focus shifted to the cases at hand, resulting in the arrest of five women. Charged with Prostitution, a misdemeanor, are: 27-year-old Marcolena Miller, of Loudonville, 29-year-old Virginia Quesnel-Gillett, of Troy, 45-year-old Pamela Baumgardner, of Saratoga Springs, 23-year-old Ginger Wood, of Albany, and 23-year-old Krista Cherry, of Glens Falls.
Murphy says Saratoga County has not had cases of prostitution for several years and prostitution in the City of Saratoga Springs is rare.
District Attorney Murphy said "While these women are charged with a misdemeanor crime, what we will be focusing on is to understand why they are allegedly doing what they are accused of. Our hope is to assist them by offering services and enable them to discontinue this destructive lifestyle which can involve drugs, alcohol and violence. Counselors were available during the interviewing and processing for assistance of the women if desired. Our real targets are the "pimps", who allegedly control the women. While the alleged prostitutes are charged with B Misdemeanors, we can charge the "pimps" with felonies if we can show the "pimp" controls more than one woman or uses or threatens violence against her. We are working with law enforcement as the investigation continues to explore these and other charges against the "pimps" and each case will be dealt with individually as each woman's circumstance is different."
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