15 arrested in Johns Creek prostitution bust

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek police arrested 15 people in a prostitution sting.

The operation, called “Saving Grace,” netted accused pimps, prostitutes and customers, Captain Chris Byers told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik in an exclusive interview.

“This is not something that’s going to be acceptable in the north Fulton area,” Byers said.  “In my personal opinion these girls are lucky that when they did go to that door there were police officers behind it instead of someone being there to hurt them.”

Investigators said they posted ads on the web site Backpage.com, and within hours people began showing up at a hotel on Medlock Bridge Road.

Byers said the impetus for the sting was complaints about a Johns Creek stepmother accused of pimping out her stepdaughter. Both were arrested after they showed up at the hotel, Byers said.

Police also arrested a Lawrenceville man accused of setting up a sexual rendezvous with someone whom he thought was a minor. Luis Felipe Leal is facing felony pandering charges.

“Setting up a meeting with a minor like that, that’s just not right,” said resident Madison Maxwell. "This is a nice area.  I come around here a lot and I wouldn’t think anything like that would be going on.”

Maxwell’s mother told Petchenik that she had no idea that prostitution was taking place in the city.

“The fact that they’re exposing the problem with their sting operation is so important,” she said of the operation.