SALEM, Ore. — Salem Police Street Crimes Detectives arrested a 20-year old Portland woman when she arrived at the Salem Police Department to complete a pre-arranged deal for sexual activity on Thursday afternoon.
Undercover Salem detectives had been communicating with a female through different social outlets for several days now. Communications through phone, text, and an internet site consisted of negotiations for sexual activity in exchange for money
On the 11th of this past month, the woman agreed to come to Salem from Portland in order to perform sexual acts to then be reimbursed a sum of money. The 20-year old was directed to an unmarked door of the Salem Police Department. The suspect followed the directions to the door and attempted to make contact with what she believed was a “John” at that location. The woman, unaware of the setup, was confronted by detectives and taken into custody without incident.
The suspect has been identified as Christal D. Smith of Portland and taken to the Marion County Jail on charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution.
In order to get to the door where she was arrested, the suspect walked through a courtyard where the public entrance to the Salem Police Department could clearly be seen. She also walked directly past several uniformed police officers.
Incidental to this case, January 11 happens to be the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The Salem Police Department recognizes that prostitution is a widespread problem that can affect entire communities. They believe those who engage in prostitution activities not only victimize themselves and those with whom they are carrying out those activities, but also the livability of an entire community.
There are frequently underlying issues affecting those who engage in prostitution, and assistance is available in our communities whether it be for addiction, mental health issues, financial issues or coercion through human trafficking. Those who are affected by any of these issues can contact local crisis help lines.
The Northwest Human Services Crisis and Information Hotline is available 24-hours a day at 1-800-560-5535 and the Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service can be reached at their 24-hour crisis line at 503-399-7722. The Salem Police Department urges anyone who seeks assistance or who knows of anyone who needs assistance to contact their local service providers or call 911.