Pierce County, located in the southern Puget Sound region of Washington state, has a population of roughly 775,000. The unincorporated areas of the county as well as the cities within it (such as Tacoma, the county’s major population center) have identified prostitution as a persistent problem, and there have been local cases of sex trafficking of girls and women. To address the key cause of both prostitution and sex trafficking, the county has engaged in efforts to combat consumer-level demand for commercial sex.
Since 1992, police have been issuing “stay out of areas of prostitution” orders. The county started a john school in 2005 that is used by the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, and Fife, and for the men arrested in unincorporated areas by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
- Pierce County Sheriff’s Office
- Tacoma Police Department
- Lakewood Police Department
- Fife Police Department
- Seattle Police Department
- West Sound Narcotics Task Force
- Naval Criminal Investigative Service
- Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- Reverse Stings:
- John School:
- “A New Approach to Stop the Oldest Profession; Tacoma, Lakewood and Fife Team up to Tackle Prostitution; This Summer, They’ll Offer a Counseling Program for Men Arrested for Soliciting Sex,” Tacoma News Tribune, July 2 2005.
- “Resolution No. 36588,” City Council Agenda, City of Tacoma, July 26 2005.
- “First Men Pass John School, Where Everyone Knows Your Shame; Eight Offenders Graduate from John School, a Diversion Program for Men Caught Soliciting Streetwalkers in Tacoma, Lakewood and Fife,” Tacoma News Tribune, October 25 2005.
- “Tacoma Judge Found Guilty in Prostitution Case,” CBS/KIRO-TV 7, October 28 2009.
- “Former Pierce County Judge Gets Community Service, ‘John School,'” Longview Daily News, November 19 2009.
- “Hecht Escapes Jail, Headed to ‘John School,'” ABC/KOMO-TV 4, November 19 2009.
- “Tacoma Judge Who Paid Prostitutes Receives No Jail Time,” CBS/KIRO-TV 7, November 19 2009.
- “Hecht Avoids Jail, Must Do Service Time,” Tacoma News Tribune, November 20 2009.
- SOAP Orders:
- “Pierce Courts Get Anti-Vice Option,” Tacoma News Tribune, March 28 2007.
- “Two More No-Prostitute Zones,” Tacoma News Tribune, October 28 2007.
- “What’s Next,” Tacoma News Tribune, October 28 2007.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 8, Including 3 Juveniles,” CBS/KIRO-TV 7, August 1 2008.
- “Violent Pimp Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking, Witness Tampering, and Interstate Transportation of a Minor for Prostitution Pierce County Man Used Threats and Violence to Force 17-Year-Old into Prostitution,” Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, September 24 2010.
- “7 Arrested, 6 Girls Freed in Prostitution Crackdown,” CBS/KIRO-TV 7, June 25 2012.
- “Two Men Charged with Prostituting Teenager on Backpage.com,” Tacoma News Tribune, October 8 2012.
- “Tacoma Mom Helps Cops Bust Pair of Pimps,” Tacoma News Tribune, December 23 2014.
- “Spanaway Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Helping Brother Prostitute Teenage Girls,” Tacoma News Tribune, January 28 2015.
- “Tacoma Man Gets 8 Years for Prostituting 2 Teen Girls,” Tacoma News Tribune, May 22 2015.
- “Pierce County Coalition Against Trafficking.”
- https://www.facebook.com/piercecounty.sheriff/photos (2016)
- https://komonews.com/news/local/7-pierce-gang-members-charged-with-trafficking-minor-for-sex (2017)
- https://patch.com/washington/lakewood-jblm/sting-operation-takes-down-human-trafficking-prostitution-ring (2018)
- http://kgmi.com/news/007700-11-arrested-in-pierce-county-human-trafficking-operation/ (2018)
- https://cdllife.com/2018/eleven-arrested-overnight-truck-stop-prostitution-sting/ (2018)
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- Legislation focused on Sex Buyers: