Beaverton is a suburb of Portland, Oregon, in Washington County, and has a population about 98,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been known to occur in the area for decades, and both residents and business owner have frequently complained to police about the detrimental effects sexual exploitation has on their communities. More serious crimes are also integrated with prostitution, such as sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Violence associated with commercial sex has also been well-documented locally. In addition to the common occurrances of assault against providers of commercial sex, there have been homicides of prostituted women as well as violence directed toward law enforcement personnel during investigations. For example, in July 2019, detectives conducting an undercover investigation of sex trafficking had taken one suspect into custody, but a second suspect drove his car toward an officer in an effort to escape or harm the officer. The operation and the related shooting occurred near Southwest West Slope Drive near 83rd Avenue in Beaverton.
As sex trafficking has become a growing concern in the greater Portland area, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments (such as Beaverton’s) within the county have participated with regional and national agencies in a series of “Operation Cross Country” law enforcement actions. In a 2012 operation, three child victims of sex trafficking were from the greater Portland area. In 2013, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI conducted an undercover operation at an undisclosed hotel on Southwest Canyon Road in Beaverton, after noticing a rise in prostitution-related activity in the area. Deputies posed as clients and responded to personal ads on local escort web pages. When the women arrived for a meeting at the hotel, they were arrested and charged with prostitution. Two men were also arrested and charged with promoting prostitution. In 2015, a woman who recruited a minor into prostitution was sentenced to four years in federal prison, and she and her co-defendant were grooming an additional person to enter prostitution at the time of their arrests. The co-defendant pleaded guilty in April to transporting a minor for prostitution, and was given a 10-year prison sentence. In January 2018, four men were arrested in Beaverton during a child predator sting, and four men were charged with online sexual corruption and luring a minor. In February 2018 a man was indicted in Washington County Circuit Court for sex trafficking of a 17 year old victim.
To address such problems, the Beaverton Police Department (often in collaboration with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office) has employed tactics that attempt to undermine consumer-level demand that provides the revenue for prostitution and sex trafficking markets. For example,in June 2018 the Washington County Sheriff’s Office led a team with six other collaborating agencies in a reverse sting operation that resulted in the arrest or citation of 37 people during an anti-human trafficking effort that occurred at multiple area hotels. During the operation, investigators communicated online with people seeking to pay for sex acts. Everyone arrested or cited faced charges of prostitution-related crimes, including commercial sexual solicitation.
In January 2016, four men were arrested in Beaverton during a child predator sting led by Beaverton detectives and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. All four men were charged with online sexual corruption and luring a minor. Beaverton police detectives and FBI agents communicated with the men online and arranging to meet under the pretense that the suspects would be having sex with children.
- Beaverton Police Department
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force
- Washington County Circuit Court
- Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- https://pamplinmedia.com/bvt/15-news/prostitution-sting-nets-suspects (2013)
- https://patch.com/oregon/beaverton/child-prostitution-sting-nabs-4-beaverton-men (2018)
- https://patch.com/oregon/hillsboro/18-men-arrested-sex-trafficking-sting-sheriff (2018)
- http://www.kptv.com/story/37-people-arrested-cited-during-undercover-prostitution-sting-in-metro-area (2018)
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/06/fbi_sting_identifies_79_child.html (2012)
- “Teen Was Victim of Sex Trafficking along West Coast before Beaverton Police Intervened, Documents Say”, Oregonian, August 12 2014.
- http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/09/former_lake_oswego_cheerleader.html (2015)
- https://www.kgw.com/article/news/crime/portland-man-arrested-in-sex-trafficking-case (2018)
- http://www.kptv.com/story/37570629/beaverton-police-man-arrested-for-promoting-prostitution (2018)
- Documented Violence Associated with Local Prostitution:
- “Oregon Bones May Be Tied to Green River Killings”, Spokane Spokesman-Review, June 15 1985.
- “Green River Force Looking for Link with Oregon Killings”, Spokane Chronicle, June 19 1985.
- “More Bones Uncovered in Tigard”, Bend Bulletin, June 21 1985.
- “Victim’s Bones, Found in 2 States, Baffle Police”, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, February 16 1990.
- “Police Net Catches the Wrong Man”, Seattle Times, November 6 2003.
- “Police Search for More Victims of Alleged Craigslist Attacker”, ABC/KATU-TV 2, November 19 2007.
- “High Court Erases the Convictions of Craigslist Rapist”, Tigard Times, July 26 2012.
- “Oregon Supreme Court Says Convictions, Except Rape, Still Stand in Tigard Craigslist Case”, Oregonian, November 13 2012.
- https://www.kptv.com/police-id-suspect-after-sex-trafficking-investigation-officer-involved (2019)
- https://www.ktvz.com/beaverton-officer-shoots-at-sex-trafficking-suspect (2019)