Apopka is a city of about 42,000 residents in central Florida, near Orlando. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Seminole County and the greater Orlando metro area. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses, and there have been cases of violence against prostituted women. For example, in 1991 a woman with a history of prostitution was abducted as she was walking along a state highway in South Apopka, and found murdered in Sanford. The homicide was linked to suspected a serial killer who murdered prostituted women.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in 1996 a man was arrested and his mug shot taken after he was recorded offering $25 to an undercover officer for sex. The man pleaded no contest and paid a fine. In July, 2014 an Apopka city attorney resigned his position after his name appeared on a brothel client list. In January 2018 Apopka police officers conducted an investigation of street-level prostitution. Undercover female officers posed as prostituted persons and were solicited for various sex acts for payment. The clients were arrested and charged, and their photos, names, and charges were released to new outlets. In January 2018, detectives working a street-level reverse sting made six arrests for prostitution. The Apopka Police Department had received a number of complaints regarding prostitution and other criminal activity along the 441-corridor in the downtown area. In an effort to curb such activity, members of the department’s detective unit had conducting undercover prostitution investigations and enforcement actions.
- Apopka Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Sting and Shaming:
- http://theapopkavoice.com/apopka-police-arrest-six-prostitution-sting/ (2018)
- https://www.wftv.com/news/local/apopka-keeps-longtime-city-employee-despite-lie-ab (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution:
- https://www.orlandosentinel.com/os-apopka-city-council-brothel-uproar (2014)
- http://wokc.com/wp-content/uploads/Arrested-During-Prostitution-Operation.pdf (2015)
- https://www.courant.com/new-britain-suspected-serial-killer-william-devin-howell-florida-murder (2015)
- https://www.orlandoweekly.com/former-prostitutes-banned-from-operating-pedicabs-on-i-drive (2017)