It is something most people cant even imagine happening in their backyard. But metro area police say it is: children being pimped out for sex.
On Monday, Aurora Police Department arrested 53-year-old Alexandros Katsaunis, of Denver, at the Motel 6 where he worked as the manager.
Katsaunis is being held on charges of keeping a place of child prostitution, pandering, keeping a place of prostitution and promoting sexual immorality, police said.
Police arrested Katsaunis after several months of investigation. In June investigators began an investigation into criminal activity at the Motel 6. On June 30, police arrested Bobby James Doss for investigation of pimping of a child. Investigators found a young female who was the subject of a number of online escort service ads.
"When we deal with children that are posting their services on these Internet Web sites, we deal with them as being the victim," said an undercover detective with the Aurora Police Department. "They are essentially the true victims. They are doing these things because there is somebody that is dictating everything that they say and do, and these people are pimps."
The Aurora Police Department formed a special unit to investigate online prostitution. They are not alone in dealing with this type of crime. Police departments across the metro area are also investigating online prostitution -- many times which involves pimps.
"They are the ultimate predators," said the undercover detective. "They take advantage of the weak, they prey upon disadvantaged people."
Carol Lease from the Empowerment Program in Denver said the average age for a girl to enter the money for sex business is 11 or 12 years old.
"There are resources here for young women out there who've been exploited or used by this guy, or anybody can come in," said Lease. "It doesnt matter how old you are."
Not all of the victims in this case are children. Police said adult women were also being pimped.
"This is a shocking and tragic situation. And our deepest sympathies are with the victims. We are currently doing everything we can to assist with the ongoing criminal investigation," said Victor Glover, Sr. VP, Safety and Security, Accor North America, in a statement to 7News. Accor North America is the parent company of Motel 6.
Katsaunis is behind bars at the Aurora Detention Center on a $50,000 bond. The case will be forwarded to the Arapahoe County District Attorneys Office for prosecution.
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