Ames Police ensure safety while dealing with prostitution case

Morgan Fleener

Ames Police were called to an Ames home early Friday morning for a reported theft and ended up arresting two people on charges of prostitution.

Moses Nathaniel, 57, of 1013 Maxwell Ave., contacted the Ames Police Department claiming that a woman named Tanya had stolen $300 from the home.

Meanwhile, Tanya Hortense Coleman, 49, of Des Moines, flagged Ames Police down between Sixth Street and Duff Avenue for what seemed to be a transportation issue.

After further questioning of Coleman, police found that she had agreed to a payment of $100 for performing sexual acts in Nathaniel’s home earlier that day.

During her time at the home, she allegedly stole an additional $300 and proceeded to leave.

Coleman was sent and held in the Story County Jail for sale of one’s services as a partner in a sex act.

She was released later that day on a surety bond of $2,000.

Coleman and Nathaniel both will have hearings Friday to determine the outcomes of their case.

In the state of Iowa, prostitution has not always been a major issue for law enforcement and even less of an issue in Ames.

In 2009, the state of Iowa reported 159 incidents of prostitution, which means 4.7 of every 100,000 reported offenses is related to prostitution.

ISU Police reported that there have been no prostitution reports made within the campus.

Although reports have not occurred, Iowa State makes sure it is actively working to keep the campus free of prostitution and human trafficking.

Lt. Elliot Florer has been working for ISU Police division for more than 10 years.

Florer said the police services within the campus try to remain proactive in assisting and ensuring safety on campus so that prostitution does not occur.

“Although prostitution is not very common, we do make sure we are looking into sites like Craigslist to ensure a safe place for people to live, work and go to school,” Florer said. 

Senior Criminal Intelligence Analyst Roxann M. Ryan believes that prostitution has been dramatically underreported, but feels people living in Iowa have been fortunate to not have to deal with this issue on a regular basis.

“I am not surprised there have been no reports within Iowa State,” Ryan said. “With this issue usually being geographically centralized, Iowa in general is a safe place to live regarding this.”

With the university still not coming across this issue, Iowa State continues to look more in depth as to what it can do to help prevent prostitution on campus.

“I wish I could put a protective bubble over campus,” Florer said. “The most important thing to know is although it is not very common, we continue to look into the challenges law enforcements face with prostitution.”