Delray Beach is a city of 60,000, located along the southeastern coast of Florida in Palm Beach County. Prostitution, occurring both at street-level and within adult-oriented businesses, has posed serious problems in the community for several decades. For example, in Febriary 2018, two Delray Beach men were arrested and faced human-trafficking charges after city police alleged they forced at least three women into prostitution. At least one of the women came to South Florida for drug treatment, and all three women are suffering from opioid addictions, and one of the accused traffickers supplied them with drugs. One of the women described the men’s actions as slavery, and another victim told police that one of the men would beat her if she did not turn over all of her prostitution earnings. In addition to human trafficking, commercial sex has been associated with a host of related crimes in Delray Beach, including multiple documented assaults and robberies of prostituted women, and at least one report of a young child being brought by a prostituted woman to a commercial sex transaction. In 1994, a prostituted woman was shot and killed outside her home.
In an effort to reduce prostitution in the area, the Delray Beach Police Department began conducting reverse stings in 1976. Early operations were conducted at street-level, using female undercover officers as decoys along major thoroughfares. As early as 1988, the department began sharing the names and other identifying information about arrestees with major news outlets (e.g., the Boca Raton News). In the early 1990s, city officials considered taking out an advertisement in a local newspaper publicizing the names’ of individuals arrested for prostitution-related offenses, but it is unclear if such an ad was every placed.
A handful of county-level ordinances have also been used to determine sentences of johns arrested in Delray Beach. Individuals convicted of solicitation, for example, may have their license suspended, and/or may be served SOAP orders barring them from re-entering areas of the county associated with commercial sex sales.
Similarly, in the early to mid-1990s, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that a Palm Beach County Circuit Judge had begun offering first-time offenders charged with solicitation the option of completing a diversion program in lieu of jail time. The program, instituted in February 1990, was composed of a two-hour class (dubbed Risk Education for Sex Offenders), a HIV blood test, mandatory attendance at four court hearings for prostituted women, and “reading a psychological profile of a prostitute who was diagnosed with AIDS.” For additional information about county-level efforts to reduce demand, see Palm Beach County.
- Delray Beach Police Department
- Palm Beach County Circuit Court
- National Assessment Survey
- John School:
- “Hookers, Clients Take Class to Avoid Jail,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, April 1 1991.
- “Prostitution Prevention Program Hooks Johns,” Palm Beach Post, October 18 2000.
- “Sheriff’s Office Lures ‘Johns’ to Class,” Palm Beach Post, July 11 2001.
- “Pay For Sex, Get Lesson Instead,” Tampa Tribune, October 7 2001.
- “Tackling Demand for Prostitution,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 5 2003.
- “Delray Institutes Programs Aimed at Prostitution; Offenders to Face Felony Charges,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, October 29 2003.
- “School for ‘Johns’ Tries to Scare Sex Solicitors Straight,” Palm Beach Post, July 23 2006.
- “Class Teaches about Risks of Prostitution,” Palm Beach Post, December 26 2009.
- Street-Level Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Decoy Prostitutes– Police Entrapment?” Palm Beach Daily News, July 4 1976.
- “Five Arrested, Charged with Soliciting Prostitutes,” Boca Raton News, July 10 1987.
- “Delray Police Fight Oldest Profession,” Boca Raton News, August 16 1987.
- “6 Arrested in Delray,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, December 24 1987.
- “19 Arrested in Delray Prostitution Sweep,” Palm Beach Post, April 8 1988.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 17 Offenders,” Boca Raton News, May 13 1988.
- “Prostitute Sweep Collects More Suspects,” Boca Raton News, June 16 1988.
- “Delray Soliciting Sting Nets Bailiff, 11 Others,” Boca Raton News, April 18 1989.
- “Delray, Boynton Soliciting Sting Nets 26 Arrests,” Boca Raton News, May 14 1989.
- “Delray Beach Prostitution Bust Nets 13,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, July 9 1989.
- “100 Arrested in Prostitution Sweep,” Palm Beach Post, September 24 1989.
- “Eight Men Arrested during Prostitution Sting,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, April 14 2002.
- “Prostitution Sting Nabs Teacher, Dentist, City Employee,” FOX/WFLX-TV 29, October 7 2009.
- “Delray Might Publish Names of Alleged Johns,” Palm Beach Post, January 14 1993.
- “Boynton Mayor Also Wants to Publish Names of Johns,” Palm Beach Post, January 16 1993.
- “Boynton Votes to Publish Johns’ Names,” Palm Beach Post, January 20 1993.
- SOAP Orders:
- Background on Local Sex Trafficking:
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Delray Police Seeking Robber of Prostitute,” Palm Beach Post, February 3 1982.
- “Rape Suspect Could Have Struck Twice,” Palm Beach Post, February 5 1982.
- “State Board Considering Sentencing; Delray Man Makes Appeal for Life Imprisonment,” Palm Beach Post, November 9 1983.
- “Man Robbed by Prostitute,” Boca Raton News, March 12 1984.
- “Man Beats, Robs Prostitute,” Boca Raton News, January 4 1991.
- “Delray Prostitute Shot Dead Outside Her Home,” Boca Raton News, February 22 1994.
- “Former Cop Charged in Prostitute’s Death,” Lakeland Ledger, March 5 1994.
- “Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty in Slaying; Prostitute Reported Having Sex with Delray Ex-Cop,” Boca Raton News, December 14 1994.
- “Man Arrested in Delray Rape, Beating,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, July 11 1995.
- “Authorities Charge Man with Beating Prostitute; Officials Say Suspect May Be Responsible for at Least 13 Attacks,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, September 24 2009.
- Child Endangerment:
- “Woman Offering Sex for Money Brings Baby after Making Deal; Delray Sting Nets 10 Prostitution Arrests,” Boca Raton News, October 5 1992.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “10 Arrested in Prostitution Crackdown,” Boca Raton News, August 24 1984.
- “Accused Prostitute with AIDS Ordered to Wear a Monitor,” Lakeland Ledger, September 28 1985.
- “Victim of AIDS Released; Woman Guilty of Prostitution,” Palm Beach Post, November 6 1985.
- “Accused Prostitute Monitored Due to AIDS Dies,” Palm Beach Post, June 17 1986.
- “Prostitution Plagues Delray Block,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 8 1987.
- “Police Round up Trio on Prostitution Charges,” Boca Raton News, October 8 1988.
- “Undercover Police Arrest 65 in Massive Prostitution Bust,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, August 20 1989.
- “Prostitution Sweep Nets 5,” Boca Raton News, July 10 1990.
- “Police Sting Operation Nets Arrests of 2 Delray Women for Prostitution; Women Allegedly Propositioned Undercover Officers,” Boca Raton News, May 20 1991.
- “Officer Suspended after Sex Charges; Prostitute Says They Had Sex in Police Cruiser,” Boca Raton News, October 21 1992.
- “Fired Delray Officer Guilty of Sex with Prostitute,” Boca Raton News, April 10 1993.
- https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1993-01-17-9301040124-story.html (1993)
- “‘Therapists’ Face Sex Charges; Davie, Delray Massage Centers Raided,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, July 27 1996.
- “Delray Has Tool Combat Nuisances; Prostitution, Drugs Are Board’s Target,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, January 22 1997.
- “2 Escape Jail in Massage Parlor Case; Plea Agreement Nets Probation for Owner, Manager in Delray,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, December 19 1997.
- “Nine Arrested in Raid at House in Delray,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, July 11 1998.
- “5 Delray Women Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Palm Beach Post, December 12 2001.
- “4 at Delray Massage Parlor Charged with Prostitution,” Palm Beach Post, May 5 2007.
- “Delray Beach Madam Gets House Arrest, Forfeits Cash,” Palm Beach Post, October 16 2007.