Police arrest woman in prostitution sting.
Police this week arrested a Eugene woman who allegedly ran a local online prostitution service.
Lisa Nicole Dempsey, 31, was lodged Wednesday night in the Lane County Jail on a felony charge of promoting prostitution, after an undercover Eugene police officer allegedly met one of her sex workers at a downtown motel.
Dempsey was released from custody Thursday on her own recognizance. She has not yet appeared in court on the felony charge.
Police said Dempsey set up online advertising for several prostitutes, arranged meetings with clients on behalf of the women and received a portion of the money they made.
"She had several people working for her," Eugene police Detective Rick Lowe said. "And she was actually trying to recruit others online."
Lowe said Dempsey drove a 22-year-old woman to a downtown motel on Wednesday.
An undercover detective was waiting there, and the younger woman was cited on a misdemeanor prostitution charge after she agreed to exchange sex for money, police said.
Police set up the meeting by responding by telephone to an advertisement Dempsey allegedly posted on an Internet classified site.
Lowe said Dempsey, who has no prior criminal record in Oregon, recently moved to Eugene from the Las Vegas area.
Investigators believe the alleged online madam was previously involved in prostitution in Nevada, Lowe said.
In a separate case this week, Eugene police detectives on Thursday arrested another woman who allegedly advertised her services via an online classified site.
The woman, Marilyn Mae Sims, 23, was jailed after an undercover officer arranged a meeting with her at a home in Eugene.
Sims faces felony charges of methamphetamine possession and first-degree child neglect, as well as misdemeanor charges of prostitution and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Several people were cited earlier this month on misdemeanor prostitution charges after another undercover operation.
Detectives with the Eugene Police Department's vice narcotics unit recently began focusing more on online prostitution because they say it has become more common locally.
According to police, several Internet classified sites post prostitution listings, often under the cloak of "adult services" that appear to offer activities such as massage and exotic dancing. Other Web sites have been established exclusively to promote prostitution services.
Engaging in sex for money - either as a prostitute or a customer - is a misdemeanor crime in Oregon.
However, it is a felony for someone to promote or compel prostitution.