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Prosties Prey On Downtown Middle School Students

At we pray for prosties.

Hawaii – – Central Middle School students told KITV 4 News prostitutes sometimes proposition them to buy sex or drugs as they’re walking to and from class, which is one reason why an area lawmaker is introducing a proposal to crack down on johns who hire prostitutes near schools.

Prostitutes are fixtures along Kukui Street on the mountain side of downtown Honolulu, just in back of the Pali Long’s Drugs and Safeway stores.

Those prostitutes are just down the street from Central Middle School, where more than 400 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders walk to and from class every weekday. At 7:15 a.m. last week Tuesday, KITV 4 News counted four prostitutes along Kukui Street, with parents walking their kids to school right past prostitutes on the street.

KITV 4 spoke to a group of 13- and 14-year-old boys as they walked home to Mayor Wright housing from Central Middle School after school last week.
One 7th grader said he saw prostitutes outside his school every day. He said students are constantly propositioned by streetwalkers here.

“They tell us if we like to buy ice from them, cocaine and crack. Asking us for money, and asking us if they want us to come with them,” the boy, 13, said.

Besides asking boys who are barely teenagers if they want to buy sex from them, some prostitutes along Kukui Street try to sell the kids drugs as they’re on their way to school.

“They ask for money and sell drugs,” said another 13-year-old male student. “Oh, I see them, every day. I feel embarrassed when they ask us for something, for money, drugs.”

State Rep. Karl Rhoads (D-Downtown/ Chinatown), said, “They’re just running this gauntlet of pimps, johns, prostitutes and drug dealers to get to school and to get home from school.”

Rhoads has had his own run-ins with prostitutes on Kukui Street.

“We went down there at 5:30 in the morning, and a prostitute told us ‘You’re on my corner,'” Rhoads said.

Rhoads introduced a bill before this year’s legislative session to crack down on johns who buy sex from prostitutes close to a school or park, similar to a law that brings tougher penalties for drug dealers who are convicted of operating near schools. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor — punishable by up to one year behind bars — to offer or agree to pay a fee for sex within 750 feet of a school or public park. It targets the customers, not the prostitutes:

“My feeling is that the johns are taking advantage of people who are in a very economically stressed position and that’s why they’re selling themselves,” Rhoads added.

One apparent prostitute who KITV 4 News shot pictures of last Tuesday walks with the help of a cane, and police who work the area said she is also a drug addict. KITV 4 News caught her on videotape appearing to buy or sell drugs just half an hour before school started a few blocks away down Kukui Street.

She identified herself as Britt Nakamura, and said she supports a law to crack down on prostitution near schools.

“Kids grow up fast enough, they don’t need to see that type of activity, and generally those types of activities bring in other things like drug dealing and all kinds of other crimes,” Nakamura said.

Central Middle School students support the proposal that would bring tougher penalties for people who hire prostitutes close to schools.

“Because it will make the streets cleaner,” said one student.

“I think because it will help us and will protect us, too,” another student said.

Former Board of Education member Lei Ahu Isa walks her dogs outside her apartment at Capitol Place, the high-rise right across the street from Central Middle School.

She has seen prostitutes working on the campus during weekends, holidays and when the school was closed last year on furlough Fridays.

“Once in a while I would see them going onto the school grounds and I guess with their, whatever they’re doing, their tricks. So that concerned me,” Isa said.

The Downtown/Chinatown citizens’ patrol travels the neighborhood Tuesday nights, sometimes accompanied by a police officer.

Dolores Mollring, 74, heads the group of volunteers.

“We’ve had times where there’ve been anywhere from six to eight prostitutes in one block, which is overkill,” Mollring said.

She said she felt for the kids who see prostitution and drug dealing right outside their school on a regular basis.

“A lot of neighborhoods, their children don’t see this. But I feel, why should ours have to, every day?” Mollring said.

Officer Richard Fikani, of the community policing unit downtown, explained some of the prostitutes in the neighborhood are homeless and addicted to drugs.

“When you get hooked on drugs, sometimes you do things that you normally wouldn’t do if you’re rational, so they’re kind of irrational about their thoughts,” he said, when asked why he thought prostitutes would ask young children for sex or drug deals.

Fikani said prostitutes know when police staffing is low right before shift changes, so that’s why more of them are on the streets before school starts in the morning.

And he said other prostitutes arrive from Waikiki.

“Waikiki becomes kind of slow, so we have some of the girls coming down here to work this side, to get the morning rush, the morning rush to work traffic,” Fikani said.

Fikani said the police department enforces the law as best as it can, with narcotics vice units doing anti-prostitution operations along with other Honolulu Police Department units.

“Something you don’t want to get caught doing, because in this area you can get a geographical restriction also, so you don’t want, that’s kind of hard to explain to the family why you can’t go into Chinatown, because you got a geographical restriction,” he said.

Under a geographical restriction, a judge can bar a person convicted of soliciting or practicing prostitution from the area in which they’ve been busted, for up to one year. Judges can also revoke bail and throw an accused prostitute in jail until their trial if they’re already on a geographical restriction and were arrested where they weren’t supposed to be.

Officers said there are different zones for prostitutes along Kukui Street. Generally, transgender prostitutes tend to congregate between Mililani Mortuary and Aala Park with the rest of the prostitutes usually in the area between Mililani Mortuary and Central Middle School.

The prices of prostitutes tend to decrease the closer you get to Aala Park, which is a haven for the homeless.


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