written by: , Investigative Reporter
DENVER - 9Wants To Know has learned a federal grand jury is investigating an upscale prostitution business in Denver that catered to prominent clients across the state.
The hookup service, called Denver Players, was shut down by IRS and Denver Police investigators last month when they served more than a dozen search warrants and subpoenas at homes and businesses.
Sources tell 9Wants to Know they’ve received subpoenas to appear before the U.S. District Court in Denver to testify or deliver documents to the grand jury involving Denver Players. A federal grand jury could hand up indictments in the case after the investigation is over. The case belongs to the IRS.
A grand jury is the single most effective way to investigate a large group of people suspected of criminal wrongdoing, according to 9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson.
“It can compel the reluctant witness into the assisting witness,” said Robinson. “It does so without the pesky interference of a defense attorney.”
If witnesses refuse to testify, the grand jury may grant them immunity, according to Robinson. If witnesses refuse to testify after that, Robinson says they could go to jail.
Meanwhile, police have refused to release the list of prominent clients that paid for prostitutes at the exclusive hookup service. 9NEWS requested the records under the state’s Criminal Justice Records Act after hookups told 9Wants to Know their customers include professional athletes, politicians, lawyers and judges.
In a letter to 9NEWS, the records coordinator for Denver’s Department of Safety wrote: “The Denver Police Department is not the lead agency involved.”
The letter went on to say: “…as this is an active, ongoing investigation, disclosure of the information you requested at this time would be contrary to the public interest in seeing a full, complete and uncompromised investigation.”
Click here to read the entire letter from Denver Police.
Police did release statistics involving prostitution-related crimes that were requested by 9NEWS.
Police arrest women more than twice as often for prostitution than they arrest men for solicitation, according to DPD arrest records for the years 2022-2022. According to police, 899 women were arrested for prostitution during the three-year period, compared to 424 men who were arrested for soliciting prostitution. In 2022, 57 percent of the arrests were women.
Experts say arresting both the prostitutes and the customers deter people from committing the crime.
“If they want to get rid of the source of the prostitution, they have to do both. They have to send the message to the prostitute and to those who go out on the street seeking the prostitute,” said Joe Sandoval, a criminal justice professor at Metro State College.
Prostitution and solicitation of prostitution are class three misdemeanors under the Colorado statutes.
An anonymous hookup who talked to 9Wants to Know said she doesn’t think anyone should be arrested for prostitution.
She says many women choose this profession because of the money. She makes about $100,000 a year, she told 9NEWS.
“Money is a big motivation, but I think that it takes someone very special to be able to do this,” the hookup told 9Wants to Know. “They generally care about the clients, they care about them as people and they like helping people.”
She says she enjoys her job and says it can get boring when she’s not meeting with men.
“It’s almost like a rush to have an appointment. It’s exciting. The man is excited to meet you, saying, ‘Oh, I’ve heard so much about you, I’ve read about you and I’ve wanted to meet you for so long.’ It kind of makes a girl feel special; they do treat us as ladies,” said the hookup. “It’s like a date. Some men bring wine and champagne and we talk for a while.”
The hookup says the money can also be a trap that women can’t escape.
“You have to make a car payment and it’s so easy to just work and make $900 in a day and you don’t have to worry about it,” she said.
The hookup, who has been in the business for three years, says men go to prostitutes because they want some attention.
“I’d say 75 percent of clients are married, in their 50s, they’re white and almost all of them will tell us they love their wives,” she said.
However, the hookup says many of the men feel like they don’t get the attention from their wives they want.
“So he goes to an hookup and it’s her job to make him feel wanted and feel special, so it can become an addiction for him as well,” she said.
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