Baton Rouge, LA

Tactics Used

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

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana. It is also the state’s second largest city, with a population of nearly 230,000. Problems associated with prostitution and sex trafficking in the city include the targeted murder of sex sellers.  Between 1996 and 2004, at least 11 women involved in prostitution were found murdered in a tightly confined area surrounding North Street Park in Baton Rouge. More recently, a female sex seller was strangled to death with shoelaces; the accused murderer had previously been convicted of killing a woman in another city using similar tactics.

Additional problems reported include johns temporarily abandoning young children in order to buy sex. For example, in a December 2013 case, police booked an arrested sex buyer for an additional charge of child desertion for leaving a 1-year-old and 2-year-old alone in a car while meeting with the undercover officer to buy sex in a hotel room.

The combat prostitution, the Baton Rouge Police Department has been conducting reverse sting operations occasionally since 1985.  In 2007, officers incorporated the use of web stings as a response to much of the city’s sex business being taken “inside” and off the streets. A web-based reversal in December 2013, for example, netted nine johns, all of whose identities were publicized. Since at least 1985, city law enforcement have also reserved the right to seize vehicles used for the purposes of solicitation.

Since Hurricane Katrina, there has been a reported spike in human trafficking in the Baton Rouge area.  In the months following the hurricane, Baton Rouge Police reported a significant increase in international labor trafficking and adult and child sex trafficking. The city is currently listed among the top ten most highly trafficked U.S. cities by the Department of Justice. In an effort to combat the problem, police and other city officials have been working towards stricter prostitution laws to disrupt and dismantle local trafficking operations, identify and recover victims of trafficking, and deter city residents from engaging in the sale or purchase of commercial sex as a whole.

Key Sources

State Louisiana
Type City
Population 227071
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