Bangor, ME

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

Bangor is a city of approximately 32,000 residents, located in south-central Maine.  It is the largest city in Penobscot County, and the third most populous in the state (behind Portland (68,000) and Lewiston (37,000)). Like virtually everywhere in the nation, prostitution and sex trafficking are common throughout Maine.  Detective Steve Webster, who retired from a 30 year career with the South Portland Police Department, said: “There is not a city or town in this state where I couldn’t go set up shop for five minutes, put an ad on a social website and start sucking people in.” In 2019, Maine earned a “D” from the nonprofit organization Shared Hope International, which evaluates each state’s laws regarding sex trafficking of minors. Within Penobscot county, examples include a case in April, 2009, in which seven women associated with an escort service called Cinnamon’s Sweets were arrested and each were charged with promotion of prostitution stemming from a sting operation at a motel in Brewer.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and demand reduction tactics  have been used in Bangor.  For example, in 2019, a man was arrested after police alleged that he was propositioning men walking around Bangor. At least four men had called Bangor police to complain about the same man soliciting them for sex. The arrested man’s identity was publicly disclosed.  In 2020, the man was found not guilty by a jury for “engaging a prostitute.” One of the men who had called police strongly disagreed wit the verdict.  Media reports included the alleged victim affirming his allegations that the defendant had pulled up to him on the side of the road and offered marijuana in exchange for sex. The defendant had been previously convicted in 2001 for unlawfully touching a young University of Maine student.

Key Partners

  • Bangor Police Department
State Maine
Type City
Population 31921
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