Monday, January 14, 2013

KHQ removes "johns list"

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

If you were planning to keep poring over that list of alleged Spokane-area "johns"that came out last week, we hope you saved a pdf.

KHQ generated lots of buzz Thursday when it posted the list of men police say were customers of eight Spokane spas operating as fronts for prostitution, but the station has since removed the list from its website.

Police raided the spas and arrested the owners back in July. The 46-page document included names of men police say had paid for services at the spas, which spa they attended, when and how much they spent. (Customers who worked as confidential informants were blacked out.) KHQ's Facebook post with a link to the list has more than 200 comments, including jokes, commendations and people scolding the station for posting the names.

This is the link that used to take you to the document, but now says the page is unavailable.

KHQ Executive Producer Jeff Hite wouldn't comment on why they removed the document. 

In an email to The Inlander, KHQ reporter Chelsea Kopta wrote, "My managers believed the story had run its course and took the list down late Saturday evening."

Kopta covered "Operation Red Light" and requested the list from police. (Here's her followup from Friday about the fact that the johns would not be charged in the investigation, according to Airway Heights Police.)

Kopta says she "was not privy" to the decision to take the document off, but wouldn't elaborate.

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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...