Attempting to Reduce Sex Trafficking and Prostitution by Constraining Online Facilitation

Events occurring early in 2018 suggest that publicly accessible online advertising sites may not be as readily available for use by those seeking to facilitate commercial sex, and consequently, by law enforcement agencies that use them to conduct internet-based reverse stings.  In February and March 2018, a federal bill entitled “Allow States and Victims to Fight […]

Over 100 Arrested Sex Buyers in Seattle Area Online Reverse Sting

In August of 2017, the Bellevue Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Office arrested more than 100 people in a large scale reverse sting aimed at online prostitution and sex trafficking.  Over seven days, dozens of sex buyers answered online ads posted by undercover detectives, and exchanged text messages describing sex acts they expected to […]

Demand and Sex Trafficking in the Dakotas

Since the discovery of approximately 24 billion barrels of untapped oil reserves in the Williston Basin in 2006, the communities of northwestern North Dakota have observed dramatic changes. Most notably, public law enforcement officials and victim service providers have reported a dramatic spike in service requests, as thousands of people from across the country migrate to the region in search of […]

Endangerment of Young Children During Commercial Sex Transactions

One of the more disturbing aspects of commercial sex transactions encountered in our review of reverse sting operations is the presence of children.  Among the communities that have conducted reverse stings, we found cases in more than 80 cities and counties in which infants or young children were present in vehicles or hotel rooms where men […]