Arlington County, VA
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Arlington County contains approximately 236,000 residents, located just outside of Washington D.C. in Virginia. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity in the county are well-documented, as a wide range of prostitution-related crimes such as the produciton of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and homicide. For example, in April, 2021, a former Arlington attorney who allegedly used a “sugar daddy” website to lure underage victims into sexual encounters was indicted by a grand jury. Prosecutors said the man victimized six underage girls, and three other young adults from June 2017 through August 2020. In one instance, investigators said the 46 year old suspect pretended to be 18 or 19-years-old online. Fairfax County police initially investigated the case before the FBI got involved and say they’re familiar with such websites that cater to older wealthy men linking up with younger women seeking financial assistance. The man allegedly paid $500 to $800 to sexually assault the girls. In one case, he offered to pay $1,000 for a “threesome” with two victims, and he also gave girls marijuana and expensive gifts in exchange for sexually abusing them. The man was also accused of secretly recorded some encounters with minors, thus producing (CSAM). The man was charged with six counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of production of “child pornography” (CSAM), one count of transporting a person across state lines for purposes of prostitution, and three counts of coercion and enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution. In 1990, court proceedings detailed how a man suffocated two young women engaged in prostitution after having sex with them, then left their bodies on the bathroom floor while he went to work. The 21 year old man allegedly killed those women and a third prostituted woman in a two-day spree over the Memorial Day weekend. The man was believed to have killed his first two victims in the basement of his parents’ home while the rest of the family was away for the weekend. One victim was allegedly killed after the man picked her up in his father’s car in an area of downtown Washington known for prostitution. He drove to the family’s modest Arlington home, where he had sex with her, and then killed her. After dumping her body in a parking garage, he returned to the same area where he picked her up, and found a second women who he killed in much the same way, then dumped her body on the lawn of an Alexandria office complex. He then picked up the third prostituted woman, and killed her in her Arlington apartment.
Among the efforts to address these and other crimes generated by prostitution have been the use of tactics targeting consumer-level demand. As in neighboring Fairfax County, the Arlington County Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings and web stings targeting local sex buyers. In their efforts, police have posted decoy ads to sites associated with commercial sex sales (like Backpage.com) and arranged to meet johns in nearby hotels. Local residents are reportedly eager to cooperate with police, hoping that addressing demand will reduce prostitution activity and its associated problems. Hotel owners have complained to police about prostitution in their rooms, and its negative impact on their businesses. The names and ages of arrested sex buyers have been released to media outlets.
- Arlington County Police Department
- Undisclosed area hotels
- “Crime Report: June 25, 2012”, Arlington County Official Website, June 25 2012.
- “Confessions of a ‘John’ Arrested in Arlington”, ARLNow.com, July 30 2012.
- https://www.huffpost.com/entry/john-arlington-prostitution (2012)
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “Police Make More Prostitution Arrests at Columbia Pike Hotel”, Clarendon-Courthouse-Rosslyn Patch, March 23 2012.
Background on Local Sex Trafficking, Related Production of CSAM:
- “FBI: MS-13 Member’s Child Prostitution Ring Serviced Clients in Fairfax”, Arlington Patch, August 23 2011.
- “Hiding in Plain View: Sex Trafficking and Massage Parlors in Northern Virginia”, Arlington Patch, November 20 2011.
- https://archives.fbi.gov/maryland-man-charged-with-sex-trafficking-of-juvenile (2011)
- https://www.arlingtonchamber.org/human-trafficking-in-arlington (2013)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/manassas-city-police-child-pornography-in-sexting-case/ (2014)
- https://www.justice.gov/pimp-pleads-guilty-sex-trafficking-minor-across-united-states (2017)
- https://www.insidenova.com/triangle-man-sentenced-for-sex-trafficking-minor/ (2018)
- https://wjla.com/human-trafficking-operation-arlington-leads-to-charges (2019)
- https://www.fox5dc.com/former-arlington-attorney-used-sugar-daddy-site-to-lure-underage-victims (2021)
- https://wtop.com/arlington-lawyer-charged-with-sex-trafficking-minors-producing-child-porn/ (2021)
Background on Local Prostitution and Related Violence, Drugs:
- https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/ROA-Times/Tale of Triple Prostitution Homicide Toll (1990)
- “Suburban Prostitution Targeted: Stings, New Penalties Among Police Tactics”, Washington Post, October 10 1996.
- “Internet Aids Police in Prostitution Bust”, Arlington Patch, June 27 2012.
- https://www.arlnow.com/prostitution-bust-at-columbia-pike-hotel/ (2012)
- https://patch.com/virginia-law-allows-judges-to-confine-prostitutes-to-farm (2013)
- https://patch.com/two-handed-prostitution-charges-at-pentagon-city-hotel (2014)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/prostitution-arrests-on-the-rise-in-northern-virginia (2014)
- https://www.wusa9.com/5-arrested-in-va-drug-prostitution-bust (2014)
- https://www.thechesapeaketoday.com/police-arrested-prostituted-women-district-VA-las-vegas-sacramento-NY (2019)
- https://www.whsv.com/Legislators-grapple-with-changing-bawdy-place-prostitution-laws (2020)
- https://www.arlnow.com/morning-notes (2022)
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