A three-day prostitution sweep on the eastern Danforth Avenue has resulted in 86 men being charged with communicating for the purposes of prostitution.

Toronto Police said Monday in a news release that some other charges resulted from the arrests:

  • one man was charged with obstructing police
  • one was charged with failure to comply with a probation order
  • one was charged with possession of cocaine
  • one was charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and failure to comply with a recognizance (3 counts)

A total of 95 charges were laid against the 86 men.

The accused are to appear in court in June 3.

Const. Tony Vella told CTV News that the arrests were made as a result of a sting, with female police officers posting as prostitutes.

"It's all about the communications. It's not actually talking about sex. It's actually talking about the money for the sex," he said.

He couldn't say if anyone has been charged multiple times in connection with these sweeps as the investigator is not available.

This is the third such sweep of the area along the Danforth between Woodbine Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue in the past year. One such sweep in May 2009 resulted in 57 arrests. Another last October led to 70 men being charged.

Vella noted that men considering soliciting street prostitutes for sexual services should consider the risks of contracting a sexually-transmitted infection or being robbed in the process.

"A lot of these women are, in some cases, addicted to crack cocaine. They don't want to do it, but they have a habit to feed," he said.

When you throw in pimps, "there's a lot of violence associated with prostitution," Vella said.