Augusta, ME

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Augusta is a city of approximately 18,630 residents, located in Kennebec County, Maine, south of Waterville. Prostitution has been reported in the community, and has generated complaints to police. At least one case of suspected sex trafficking has also been documented.

In their efforts to reduce prostitution activity, local law enforcement have launched at least one investigation to identify and arrest sex buyers. In September 2015, media outlets reported the completion of three reverse stings in Augusta and Waterville. The operations marked a collaborative effort between the Augusta and Waterville Police Departments and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. During the stings, officers placed decoy advertisements suggesting prostitution to websites known for commercial sex sales, and arranged to meet the individuals who responded to the listing at hotels in the two communities. Twenty-one johns were arrested as a result of the stings; all of the men’s identities were publicized in press. In a joint press release about the investigations, a representative with the APD noted:

“Individuals seeking to patronize prostitutes – and the money they spend – create the market for these crimes and the opportunity for the victimization of many trafficked individuals.”

In January 2016, the Bangor Daily News reported that five of the men intercepted during the September 2015 reversal had pleaded guilty to engaging a prostitute, and had been sentenced to pay $800 in fines and fees. In addition, Daily News reporters indicated that two more johns had previously pleaded guilty in November 2015; those men were similarly sentenced to $800 in fines and fees but were also forced to serve 48 hours in jail.

Key Partners

  • Augusta Police Department
  • Waterville Police Department
  • Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office

 

State Maine
Type City
Population 18629
Location
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