Beaumont, TX

Tactics Used

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

Beaumont is a city of roughly 117,393 residents, located in Jefferson County in southeast Texas. Prostitution is a persistent and visible problem in the area, generating complaints to police from businesses and residents.  Sex trafficking of adults and children have also been documented in the city, as have targeted assaults on prostituted women.

To address such issues, the Beaumont Police Department has conducted at least five street-level reverse sting operations to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Operations have centered around 11th street, where commercial sex sales are said to occur frequently. In October 2014, police arrested six johns in the area using female undercover officers as decoys. Arrestees’ names and photos were not released to the media.

In August 2013, a web-based reverse sting resulted in “several” arrests, including that of a top law enforcement officer for the City of Rose Hill Acres.  The identity of the City Marshal was obtained by media outlets from court records and interviews, but not from a public release by police.  The sex buyer was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and bond was set at $250. He was one of several people arrested in a prostitution sting that took place at a Beaumont hotel, where those arrested had responded to ads in Backpage.com.

In December, 2019, six men were arrested during an undercover prostitution sting conducted by the Beaumont Police Department. Undercover officers placed ads online soliciting acts of prostitution.  Numerous individuals responded and reached an agreement to exchange sexual favors for money.  The six males arrested were those who followed through by appearing at the hotel room and agreeing to pay for sex.  All six men were subsequently transported to the Jefferson County Jail on charges for prostitution. Police press releases included photos and identifying information about the men.

In October, 2020 the Beaumont Police Department announced the arrest of 26 individuals in a weekend prostitution sting.  The two-day operation led to the arrest of 21 males that solicited sexual relations from minors and adults. Beaumont Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office conducted the two-day operation with assistance from both the Liberty County and McLennan County Sheriff’s Departments with the goal of targeting “human trafficking” and “sex buyers.”  The identities of all those arrested were included in news releases.

There has been some activity initiated by residents that that focused on deterring sex buyers.  In October 2013, media outlets reported that some city residents had begun to take collective action to reduce prostitution in their neighborhood.  In the Beaumont Avenues neighborhood, particularly along College Street, the publisher of the Spanish-language newspaper, La Voz, was using the newspaper to expose the problem of street prostitution.  The publisher began taking photographs and video of the activity and encouraging residents and businesses to report to police. He argued that reason prostitution exists in the Avenues is because there’s a customer base, and by letting those in the area know he’s watching, and even publicizing the illicit behavior, they’ll stop.

 

Key Sources

State Texas
Type City
Population 117393
Location
Comments are closed.