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Belle Vernon is a borough of just under 1,000 residents, located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Prostitution and problems related to the commercial sex trade have been well document in the community. For example, in October, 1995, Pennsylvania State Police – Troop B –Belle Vernon Barracks responded to a call regarding the discovery of a deceased female found 10 feet from the river’s edge in Belle Vernon by a young fisherman. The electrical extension cord used to strangle the victims was still wrapped around her neck, and her hands were tied together with duct tape. Investigators learned the victim was 16 years old, and had been sex trafficked prior to her murder.
Among the efforts to reduce commercial sex activity locally have been attempts to combat demand for commercial sex. For example, on June 12, 2013, officers from the Southwest Regional Police Department placed a decoy advertisement on an undisclosed “social media site” advertising sex in exchange for cocaine. At least one sex buyer responded to the listing, and arranged to meet a female undercover officer at Belle Vernon Park on Main Street, where he was arrested after offering the officer $100 in exchange for sex. During processing, it was discovered that the man was listed in a national registry for convicted sex offenders in 2011 after being convicted of transporting and shipping child pornography in 2008. Soon after the man’s 2013 prostitution arrest, the SRPD released the individual’s name and arrest photo to the public.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Police: Registered Sex Offender Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WPXI-TV 11, June 18 2013.
- “Southwest Regional Police Vice Squad Sets Up Prostitution Sting”, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 19 2013.
- https://cseinstitute.orgWhy-Focusing-on-Demand-for-Commercial-Sex-is-an-Effective-Means-to-Deter-Commercial-Sexual-Exploitation.pdf (2015)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/police-charge-woman-with-prostitution (2014)
- https://cseinstitute.org/CSE-Institute-Report-on-CSE-in-Pennsylvania.pdf (2016)
- https://www.bellevernonarea.net/Student Handbook 2021-22.pdf (2021)
Documented Violence Against Prostituted Person; CSAM: