Seven men were arrested this week during a prostitution sting in Encinitas, authorities reported Wednesday.
Sheriff's personnel arranged for supposed paid sex acts with the suspects online on Tuesday, then took them into custody when they arrived at agreed-upon meeting spots, Deputy Sean Zappia said.
The seven arrestees, who ranged in age from 20 to 47, were booked on suspicion of misdemeanor prostitution charges during the five-hour operation and released on their own recognizance.
"Prostitution is not a victimless crime," Zappia said. "According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children...one in six endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. The victims to these crimes are often subjected to not only severe forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those (who) solicit them for prostitution."