Everett is located 25 miles north of Seattle, and has a population of 100,000. Prostitution activity, at times involving minors, has been reported locally for several years. For example, in October, 2018, an FBI Seattle Division Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), along with additional local partners, conducted an operation in the Everett area to recover juvenile victims of sex trafficking and identify subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults, and other related crimes. The CETF identified 11 adult females and two juvenile females being exploited through prostitution. At least one case of targeted sexual assault on a prostituted woman has also been documented.
The Everett Police Department and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office have worked together to execute reverse sting operations in the community since at least 1988. Area police were also the first to conduct web-based reverse sting operations, starting in 1995. Everett uses geographic probation for those arrested on prostitution charges. This means that prostitution “customers” can be ordered to stay away from well-known marketplaces for drugs and prostitution, and if found there, can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Everett began using this tactic in 1993.
In 2007, the Everett City Council was working towards getting the names and photos of the arrested Johns to air on the local TV station, but due to many legal complications, this ordinance was never passed. For about 10 years (1999 to 2008), the Snohomish Department of Public Health operated a john school that was used for men arrested for soliciting in Everett and other areas within the county, but the program was discontinued. As of 2014, police report that there is no john school or vehicle seizure options being used for sex buyers.
In fall 2015, Bonneville Seattle reported that Snohomish County law enforcement, in partnership with the FBI, had completed an unusual web sting. Undercover officers responded to internet listings from individuals offering commercial sex, and arranged to meet the women that responded at an Everett hotel. The operation aimed to identify and recover women and girls forced into prostitution (i.e., sex trafficking victims). Although the sting did not identify any suspected victims, law enforcement did not arrest the adult sex sellers intercepted during the investigation. Instead, officers chose to interview the women to gather information from them about local prostitution markets and offer them referrals to social services.
In 2017, web-based reverse sting was conducted. Eight men, ranging in age from 26 to 60 years old, were arrested after being accused of arranging to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex in response to an online ad. A middle school teacher who was arrested pleaded guilty to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. A bus driver for the school district was arrested during the same undercover operation, and also pleading guilty in the case. The identities of the arrestees were publicly disclosed.
- Everett Police Department
- Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
- North Everett Citizens Against Prostitution
- National Assessment Survey and Interviews
- Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “15 Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Seattle Times, November 5 1991.
- “Everett Cracks down on ‘Johns,’ Prostitutes,” Seattle Times, November 12 1993.
- “Seven Men Accused of Soliciting Sex,” Seattle Times, May 25 1995.
- “7 Arrested in Prostitute Sting,” Seattle Times, April 27 1996.
- “Five Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Seattle Times, October 24 1996.
- “Vice Unit Arrests 6 in Everett,” Seattle Times, June 28 1997.
- “Eight Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Seattle Times, November 7 1997.
- “Jail Time for Prostitution,” Ellensburg Daily Record, January 17 1998.
- https://www.heraldnet.com/news/prostitution-sting-in-everett-brings-in-seven-johns/ (2002)
- “City Sting Targets Johns,” Everett Daily Herald, September 29 2007.
- “Everett Police Pose as Prostitutes, Bust Johns,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 29 2009.
- “Should Prostitution Be Legalized?” Seattle Examiner, January 26 2011.
- Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- SOAP Orders:
- “Police Battle Prostitution with Letter,” Eugene Register-Guard, September 14 1997.
- “Jail Time for Prostitution,” Ellensburg Daily Record, January 17 1998.
- “Everett Expands Stay Out of Drug and Prostitution Areas,” My Everett News, December 18 2013.
- “Nicer Weather Means More Prostitutes and Johns Trolling Everett’s Streets,” My Everett News, May 14 2014.
- Neighborhood Action:
- “Smile! The Police Are Watching You; Everett Cameras Combat Crime,” Seattle Times, July 24 1997.
- “Focus on Everett Crime Fight Is on Surveillance Cameras,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 9 1998.
- “Crime-Fighting Cameras?” Seattle Times, July 14 1998.
- “Police Cameras to Keep Watch, Security vs. Privacy an Issue in Everett,” Seattle Times, February 2 2000.
- John School (discontinued):
- Proposed Shaming:
- “Everett Councilman Proposes Shame as Prostitution Punishment,” Everett Daily Herald, September 4 2007.
- “Prostitutes’ Customers Won’t Go on TV; Ron Gipson’s Plan to Shame Men Convicted of Soliciting Prostitutes Raised Legal Questions,” Everett Daily Herald, January 10 2008.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Washington Man Indicted on Prostitution Charges,” Moscow-Pullman Daily News, November 28 2007.
- “Everett Man Gets 26-Year Prison Term for Pimping; Everett Man Must Pay Nearly $70,000 to 3 Women Who Worked for Him as Prostitutes,” Everett Daily Herald, September 30 2008.
- “Everett Man Gets over 6 Years for Forcing Woman into Prostitution,” Tacoma News Tribune, May 1 2010.
- “Teen Missing after Testimony against Pimp,” Seattle Times, December 19 2010.
- “Natalie’s Story: Life as a Child Prostitute,” Seattle Times, July 23 2011.
- “2 Pierce County Men Accused of Using Girls as Prostitutes,” Seattle Times, November 13 2012.
- “16-Year-Old among ‘Bikini Baristas’ Arrested in Everett,” NBC/KING-TV 5, February 20 2013.
- “County Investigating 45 Ongoing Human Sex Trafficking Cases,” Everett Daily Herald, June 26 2015.
- “Sex Traffickers Arrested after Bringing Women from Las Vegas to Everett,” My Everett News, July 14 2015.
- https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle/news/press-releases/task-force-operation-in-everett-recovers-13-victims-of-sex-trafficking-in-washington-state (2018)
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “12 Women Arrested in Westside Prostitution Investigation,” Spokane Chronicle, June 13 1985.
- “Prostitution Ring Bridged 2 States,” Bend Bulletin, October 28 1987.
- “Anti-Prostitution Sting Nets 3,” Seattle Times, May 25 1996.
- “Two Men Charged with Running Brothel,” Moscow-Pullman Daily News, April 12 2004.
- “Online Escort Ad Prompts Sex Sting, Police Arrest Five Women and a Teenage Girl after Learning about Sex-for-Hire Ads,” Everett Daily Herald, May 20 2006.
- “Sex Sting Snares Tanning Business; An Everett Salon May Have Been a Front for Prostitution, Police Say,” Everett Daily Herald, February 7 2007.
- “Local Briefly: 3 Arrested in Prostitution Case at Honey’s Club,” Everett Daily Herald, April 8 2008.
- “5 Everett Baristas Accused of Prostitution,” Seattle Times, September 24 2009.
- “3 Teens Rescued from Prostitution in State Bust,” Seattle Times, July 31 2013.
- “Prostitution Plea in Barista Sex Case in Everett,” Seattle Times, September 2 2014.
- “FBI, Local Law Enforcement Carry out Prostitution Sting in Everett,” Bonneville Seattle, October 13 2015.
- http://mynorthwest.com/11893/finding-answers-to-snohomish-countys-sexual-slavery-problem/ (2015)
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Against Odds, Raped Prostitute Finds Justice; Gun-Wielding Customer Headed for Prison because Call Girl Trusted Legal System,” Seattle Times, October 23 1997.