Man convicted of soliciting prostitute, SLO DA announces
October 1, 2015
Correction: The San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office is continuing to prosecute prostitutes, though not those determined to be victims of human trafficking.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is announcing the conviction of a 27-year-old man who solicited prostitution.
On Tuesday, a San Luis Obispo jury convicted Yonas Yohannes of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. Yohannes was fined, placed on probation for two years, and ordered to serve 10 days in county jail, according to the district attorney’s office.
Authorities arrested Yohannes on Oct. 21, 2014 during a sting that involved police officers from Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. The sting resulted in the arrests of 37 johns and prostitutes.
The district attorney’s office has since announced it plans to stop prosecuting prostitutes who they determine are victims of human trafficking.
But, the DA’s office will continue vigorously prosecuting people who solicit prostitution. Also, prosecutors will publish the convictions in attempt to reduce the demand for prostitution, the DA’s office said in a press release announcing Yohannes’s conviction.
“Too often, the other participant is a juvenile victim of human trafficking — a modern form of slavery and itself a felony crime,” the press release states.
In January, the district attorney’s office led an effort to create an Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force. The project includes the county sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies.