A 46-year-old suspect was arrested this week in the January attack on three women -- ages 26, 27 and 30 -- in Lyon, The Local.fr reported Thursday.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's minister for women's rights, said shortly after her appointment she wanted prostitution to "disappear."
Parliament is expected to consider a bill this year to make paying for sex illegal.
Julie Muret, a spokeswoman for women's rights group Osez le Feminisme, said her organization supports the bill.
Prostitutes work in a "violent environment" where they are "spat at, insulted and punched," she said.
"This is because prostitutes are not treated like people, or even employees, but like objects," Muret said.