Ames, IA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Ames is a city of approximately 66,000 residents, situated north of Des Moines in Story County, Iowa. Prostitution and the solicitation of minors for commercial sexual abuse have been reported in the city. For example, in late April, 2023, Ames police announced that a 44-year-old nurse practitioner and bowling alley owner was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. The following week in early May, it was announced that the man was arrested for a second time and was being charged with human trafficking, pimping and prostitution. Criminal complaints filed by Ames police officers said the man brought victims to a hotel in Ames. Police had talked to over 10 people and know of more victims. They alleged that the man recruited people to engage in paid sexual acts, and that over one weekend, they received 27 tips about the suspect. Since he was arrested last week, at least two school districts — Ames and Gilbert — had sent a note to parents saying the man had conducted athletic physicals for students at the high schools and middle schools. The earlier charges were related to an allegation that the man secretly took pictures of underage patients during those physicals (thus constituting child sexual abuse material – CSAM- which is often referred to in state law as “child pornography”). Police urged parents in the community to talk to their children, even if they are adults now, and ask them if they received an athletic physical from the suspect.

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, the  Ames Police Department conducted a web-based reverse sting in early April 2014. In the cooperation and support of area FBI agents, the APD posted an online advertisement offering commercial sex. As sex buyers responded to the listing, and undercover female officer arranged to meet them at a nearby location. Four men were arrested as a result; all had their names, ages, and hometowns released to the press. In the days that followed, APD officers described the sting as a kind of “fact-finding mission” to determine the size and scope of the area’s local commercial sex market, as well as whether or not sex trafficking networks operated in the vicinity. Although the APD did not recover any trafficking victims during the operation, officers reported that the city remains “vulnerable because [of] the major highways [that] go through the area.” The APD added that they planned to conduct similar operations in the future.

In April 2023, a 44-year-old Ames nurse practitioner and business owner was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor after police discovered he had been secretly taking pictures of underage patients during physicals at his clinic. The man was accused of sexually abusing young boys for over a decade. The man was arrested again a few days later on charges of human trafficking, pimping, and prostitution. Ames Police said they had more than 40 tips from people regarding the man as the sexual abuse investigation continued to grow and more victims came forward. The man co-owned several businesses in Ames, including a bowling alley and laser-tag arena. He was also in the home rental business. According to court documents, the man used one of the rental properties in March to pay a male to meet him for a sexual act. The person came forward and told police the man paid him in cash. Court records also showed that the man paid teen boys in exchange for performing sex acts, both at a local motel and at the apartment complex he owned. The man faced 40 years in prison for these charges and his identity was released to the press. In addition, his partners at local business Inside Golf said they were working to remove him from the ownership group entirely.

Key Partners

  • Ames Police Department
  • FBI

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation, Related CSAM in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Local Prostitution Ordinance:

State Iowa
Type City
Population 66361
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