NEW YORK – Police arrested one of Times Square’s “Painted Ladies” along with an alleged drug-dealing associate in a sting Wednesday, according to police.
Undercover officers started chatting with the topless performer around 9:00 p.m. The woman, identified as Destiny Romero, introduced the two officers to 22-year-old Jason Perez, police said.
Romero and Perez are accused of selling the officers cocaine and five pills of “Molly,” or MDMA. Romero also made an offer to perform a sex act for money, according to police.
Romero, 20, faces two felony charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of prostitution.
Perez was charged with two felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, one felony charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance, promoting prostitution and unlawful possession of marijuana.
The arrests come amid a highly-publicized debate about what to do with topless body painted women seeking tips in Times Square.
Mayor de Blasio says pedestrian plazas are to blame and is considering getting rid of them.
The Times Square Advertising Coalition derided the suggestion of axing the plazas.
“After six years and $40 million spent by the City constructing the plazas, it would be a terrible mistake to eliminate them as the number one complaint from visitors before their construction was the lack of pedestrian space,” the group said in a statement.
Standing in the way of an outright ban however, is New York City law. The topless ladies of Times Square say this proposal is pointless because toplessness has been legal since 1992.
The desnudas have rejected the city’s proposal as a double standard unfairly targeting them while their topless male counterpart, The Naked Cowboy, operates without any harassment.