LINK http://www.theledger.com/article/20120227/NEWS/120229342/1410?Title=19-People-are-Arrested-in-Polk-Sheriff-s-Online-Sex-Ad-Sting- e Arrested in Polk Sheriff's Online Sex Ad Sting
By Elvia Malagon
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:36 p.m.
WINTER HAVEN | A sting operation targeting online sex ads resulted in the arrest of 19 people over the weekend, including an employee at a Winter Haven private school, on charges including soliciting prostitution, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Detectives used the website www.backpage.com to respond to advertisements soliciting for prostitution Thursday and Friday, deputies said.
The website has classified advertisements for cities throughout the country. The Lakeland page has a section for adult advertisements.
Female and male detectives then met with the 19 people in an undisclosed location.
Among those arrested was John D. Szydlowski, 54, of Lakeland, described by the Sheriff's Office as an accountant at All Saints Academy in Winter Haven.
He was charged with soliciting prostitution. He was released from the Polk County Jail Friday on a $750 bail, according to jail records.
He declined to comment Monday.
The director of development for the school, Kristin Tripoli, said Szydlowski has worked in the business department as an accountant since December 2010. He is the chief financial officer for the academy. She said he doesn't have any interaction with students.
Tripoli said he has been placed on paid administrative leave since the arrest.
Some of the 19 people arrested also face drug charges such as possession of marijuana under 20 grams or possession of cocaine.