Friday, May 12, 2006


Crime shortage in SW Florida leads to arrest of johns and one jane

"Priest arrested in prostitution sting" goes the headline. The arrest occurred in Ft. Myers, an outpost in southwest Florida known for its rectitude.1 I was surprised to read that a priest had gotten mixed up with female police prostitutes until I learned he was Greek Orthodox. Unlike the Roman Catholics the Orthodox frequently allow bisexuals into the clergy.

The police arrested 14 people in all and helpfully provided the names and birthdates of the accused to the media, which local TV station NBC2 put online. They omitted only the name and age of a 17-year-old.

I don't know why NBC2 singled out the priest for the headline. At the bottom of the list of arrestees is someone named Theresa. Is "Theresa" a unisex name or are women just getting out more?


1Well, it was until Wednesday night's airing of "To Catch a Predator" from Dateline NBC. NBC-2 asks "Sex predator sting: Good or bad for SWFL's image?" Let me think.

Over 175,000 residents of Southwest Florida tuned in to watch as unsuspecting men arrived at a Fort Myers home, expecting sex from children. Did the nationally televised sting have a positive or negative effect on Southwest Florida's image?

First they saw the sunshine, then millions of American viewers got to see the darker side of Fort Myers.

Dateline's To Catch a Predator program showcased men coming to paradise in search of sex with children.

It makes many wonder if the sting being shown on national television did more harm than good by portraying the area in bad light.

Fort Myers Police Chief Hilton Daniels says it didn't. The men would have gone where ever they were told.

Even the Chamber of Commerce is looking at the Dateline program as a boost to the area.

Who could have guessed?

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