“Customers aren’t really willing to pay anymore because of the economy,” he said.
In talking to alleged prostitutes, Prokosch learned that the highest amount a John — a person who pays for sex — has paid for sex since the economic downturn was $250.
Marie Trudell, a 25-year-old who was arrested May 15 on prostitution charges, told undercover detectives that she traveled from Michigan to California because she heard she could make significantly more money, Prokosch said.
Oregon native Jolene Kent, 20, has been a sex worker since February and has been traveling to Glendale to make money, Prokosch said. She set up a hotel room in the 100 block of Colorado Street, where she was arrested May 22 on suspicion of prostitution, Prokosch said.
Weirng Zhang, 46, came from China to the United States and opened a cabinet-making business, but later had to close it because she wasn’t making a profit, Prokosch said.
Zhang, a Monterey Park resident, didn’t have any money, so she started working at a massage parlor and made a transition into prostitution, he said.
She told Prokosch that prostitution was the “only thing she knew how to do.”
Zhang was arrested May 22 on suspicion of soliciting sex acts to an undercover detective at a motel on the 200 block of West Colorado Street, he said.
“Definitely, the economy has had a great impact on people who are in the sex industry,” said Norma Jean Almodovar, a prostitution rights activist and former call girl.
Prostitution is based on having clients, she said. And if money is tight, she said, call girls will likely have fewer clients.