Aiken County is located in the Western portion of South Carolina. It is part of the Augusta, GA metropolitan area, which is directly across the Savannah River (which marks the border between Georgia and South Carolina) from Aiken County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the communities within the county, and in its unincorporated areas. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream that motivates all prostitution and sex trafficking. At least two reverse stings have been conducted in the county. In July, 2005 an undercover operation by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of six men along Highway 421 in the towns of Gloverville and Langley, after receiving complaints from citizens about the activity along Highway 421. A similar operation in June 2008 resulted in five arrested sex buyers. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in news releases after both operations. At that time, a conviction for prostitution in South Carolina carried penalties of a fine up to $200 or imprisonment up to 30 days for a 1st offense; fines up to $1000 or imprisonment up to six months for a 2nd; and fines up to $3000 or imprisonment for not less than one year, or both, for 3rd and subsequent offenses.
- Aiken County Sheriff’s Office
Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- http://www.wistv.com/story/3636603/aiken-county-cracks-down-on-prostitution (2005)
- “Eight Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Aiken Standard, July 26 2005.
- “Five Men Arrested in Prostitution Case,” Augusta Chronicle, June 24 2008.
- “Valley Prostitution Sting Nets Five,” McClatchy-Tribune Regional News, June 24 2008.
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://newspaperarchive.com/aiken-standard-jul-01-2003-p-1/ (2003)
- https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/four-sentenced-in-prostitution-ring-alleged-sex-ring-members-to/article (2013)
- https://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/html (2015)
- http://www.datelinecarolina.org/story/30151264/springdale-prostitution-bust?clienttype=mobile (2015)
- https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/police-bookings-for-nov/article (2016)
- https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/n-a-woman-faces-counts-of-prostitution/article (2016)
- https://www.cbs17.com/news/woman-hit-with-21-charges-of-prostitution-just-as-masters-gets-underway/ (2016)
- https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/n-a-woman-charged-in-prostitution-sting/article 2016
- https://www.wjbf.com/news/north-augusta-woman-facing-multiple-prostitution-charges (2016)